Liquor sales fill coffers

Liquor sales fill coffers

Amplified prices on cheap liquor brands rake in huge revenue

Hyderabad: Cheap liquor brands, economy and premium brands are costlier in Telangana as compared to other South Indian states. Thanks to the State Government's 'enthusiasm' for garnering huge revenues from the liquor sales.

The highest Excise Duty, VAT (Value Added Tax), Special Excise Duty and Covid Cess has put liquor prices on high scale and put a heavy burden on the Bacchus lovers. Interestingly, nearly 60 per cent of revenues through liquor sales comes from cheap brands of liquor like Royal Stag, McDowells, Officer's Choice and others.

But the total liquor sales of these brands were lower when compared to Karnataka, Odisha, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh. Telangana occupies number one position in the earnings from the liquor sales. Almost 80 per cent of the price of a liquor bottle is in the form of tax.

Earlier, the government collected VAT and excise duty only. Since the Covid pandemic hit the country, the TS government has been imposing 22 per cent Covid cess and also special excise duty.

The other state governments have stopped imposing the Covid cess but Telangana is still collecting it. A senior official said that it was the main reason that the revenue from liquor was high in Telangana as compared to other south Indian states. In other states, the tax structure was low on cheap brands, economy and premium brands.

The steep increase of the revenues from liquor sales in the last two years was high because of added taxes on alcohol products, the official said.

"For instance, Telangana had generated Rs 23,000 crore by selling a total of 35 million cases of liquor of all brands, including cheap and regular brands. While Karnataka could earn only Rs 21,500 crore by selling 60 million cases of liquor," said the official.

Telangana was competing with Tamil Nadu which was one among the highest revenue generating states from liquor sales.

In the last financial year, Tamil Nadu had earned Rs 38,000 crore revenue and Telangana targeted Rs 40,000 crore.

In the last two years, Telangana earned Rs 54,000 crore through liquor sales, and in the coming year, it will be Rs 40,000 crore in just a single financial year.

"The Excise and Prohibition department targeted to generate Rs 3,000 crore revenue every month and this would go up during the festival season like Dasara, Diwali, Christmas and New Year celebrations this year," said the official.

Boozers are ready to afford liquor even at high prices. There is no need to reduce prices unless the sales go down due to price impact.

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