Karnataka: Sale of beer is highest in Haveri in financial year 2020-21 | Hubballi News – Times of India

HAVERI/ HUBBALLI: The prolonged closure of bars and prohibition on sales of alcoholic beverages in the immediate aftermath of the outbreak of Covid-19 in the beginning of the 2020-21 financial year had raised fears among officials in the excise department over their revenue targets being met.
However, sales have been anything but sluggish in some of the districts in North Karnataka. Haveri district, for instance, has registered record sales of beer across the state, with 96.1% of the stock being cleared in the recently concluded financial year. Kolar (94.4%), Chitradurga (90.7%) and Chikkaballapur (90%) have slotted in behind Haveri in second, third and fourth slots respectively.
Sources in the excise department attributed the impressive sales of beer in Haveri and districts other than Bengaluru Urban to the exodus of professionals across various sectors from the state capital, who returned to their home towns, once ‘work from home’ became the accepted norm.
TV Shaila, deputy commissioner of excise department, said that, as on February 21, 3.2 lakh boxes of beer had been sold in Haveri in the previous fiscal year as against 3.3 lakh boxes in 2019-20. However, Shaila said that, the district had not been able to secure the top spot in sales of Indian Made Liquor (IML), although sales had been impressive.
Although numbers were yet to pour in, Shaila said that, the district was likely to have surpassed 2019-20’s figures as on March 31. “We have checked illegal sale of liquor, and improved infrastructure for sales, which is one of the reasons for the spurt,” she said.
The sharp spurt in the mercury level last summer drove liquor sales, said a Haveri resident.
Covid no bar, liquor sales up
Across North Karnataka, impressive sales of liquor has given much reason for the excise department officials in these districts to be happy about.
Although registration of vehicles and property resulted in the transport and revenue departments struggling to meet their respective revenue targets, the excise department hasn’t had to struggle much, the pandemic notwithstanding.
The excise divisions of Hosapete and Kalaburagi had, by the end of February, achieved 100% of their revenue target. Belagavi division had met 94.7% of its target by the end of February, with Mysuru, Bengaluru and Mangaluru trailing the border district.
Data from the Karnataka State Beverages Corporation Ltd shows that Hosapete excise division had surpassed its target – its revenue was 101.5% against the target as on February 28 – while Kalaburagi too had exceeded its target (100.1%).
However, the division topping the charts in terms of revenue generation is Kolar (125.8%), with Ballari (112.4%), Chikaballapur (109%), Chitradurga (106.3%) in close pursuit.
In South Karnataka, Mysuru, which had achieved 93.9% of the target and Bengaluru (90.3%) divisions have performed well, while Mangaluru, which had achieved 88.4% of its revenue target, has rung in cheer for the excise department along the coast.
Furthermore, sales of liquor in March 2021 have been robust, comparable to what was registered in the corresponding month in 2020. As on March 19, 53.2 lakh boxes of alcohol had been sold, against a total of 60 lakh boxes in the whole of March 2020. The three divisions in Bengaluru Urban – south, north and west – have registered the highest sales in March.
The hike in the price of liquor by 17% in the previous year’s budget had triggered fears of liquor sales plummeting in the state, but Karnataka has earned Rs 20,900 crore in revenue through sale of alcohol as on February 28.
“We have earned Rs 1,722 crore till March 19, and we are likely to have met the target for the 2020-21 financial year,” said an excise department official in Dharwad.

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Sagar Biswas

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