Just 23 days since liquor stores were allowed to open in Uttar Pradesh and despite the partial curfew in Gautam Budh Nagar, the district excise department earned ₹94.65 crore from liquor sales.
The total sales in April this year (the curfew was imposed on April 29) got the department ₹90 crore and just ₹74 crore in May 2020 when the nation-wide lockdown was relaxed in the first week.
“From May 11, the district allowed liquor stores to open between 10 am and 5pm. Last month, we got ₹94.65 crore which is 31% more than last May,” said district excise officer RB Singh.
The state government collects ₹400 as duty from the sale of every bottle (750 ML) of Indian made foreign liquor, ₹260 per litre from the sale of country liquor and ₹90 from the sale of a single beer can. For foreign liquor, the rates are above ₹400 for each bottle depending on the brand.
Noida and Greater Noida have a total of 524 active liquor stores.
“We seized 5,635 litres of liquor and 11 vehicles, registered 52 cases and sent 21 people to jail for selling or smuggling illegal liquor in the district in April and May combined. The liquor mostly was illegal because its sale was not authorised in Uttar Pradesh. Most of was from Haryana. The liquor seized will be destroyed,” said Singh.
According to the liquor shop owners most of the sale has been directed towards the areas bordering Delhi.
“The sale would have been better if we had more time to open the stores. The sale however in bordering areas like sector one, sector two, 16, 14 and 22, etc was very good. A number of stores had recorded eight times more sale than usual due to customers from Delhi,” said Ashok Yadav, who owns several stores in Noida and Greater Noida.