THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The Vigilance further investigation, apart from disproving the allegations that bar owners paid bribe to former finance minister K.M. Mani, has also tried to establish an ulterior motive on the part of bar owner Biju Ramesh in raising the allegation, citing that he is suffering an annual loss of about Rs 7.4 crore subsequent to the closure of his nine bars.
The Vigilance has also estimated an aggregate annual loss of Rs 509.5 crore loss to all the bar owners.
The report submitted by the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau (VACB) in the court on Wednesday cited that Biju Ramesh could have raised the allegations to threaten the government with the intention of rolling back the new excise policy which caused huge losses to him, it is reliably learnt.
As many as nine bars were run by Biju Ramesh. Prior to the new liquor policy that restricted bar licence only to five state hotels,
Prior to the new liquor policy that restricted bar licence only to five state hotels, the nine bars of Biju Ramesh purchased liquor worth Rs 23.8 crore from Kerala State Beverages Corporation (KSBC) warehouses during 2013-14 and the profit margin during the period was Rs 11.92 crore.
After the bars were closed, the purchases made by nine beer and wine parlours during this fiscal would be only around Rs 8.95 crore, considering the average purchase by KSBC so far.
Hence the projected profit margin would be only around Rs 4.48 crore. Biju Ramesh alone would suffer Rs 7.44 crore loss from the liquor business during one year, the VACB pointed out.
Similarly, the approximate profit margin of all bars during 2013-14 was Rs 936.36 crore. During the current fiscal, the profit margin from beer and wine parlours is projected at Rs 426.7 crore – a loss of profit of Rs 509 crore, the VACB pointed out
The Vigilance had disproved the allegations of bar owners handing over bribe to Mr Mani in Thiruvananthapuram and Pala mainly by citing the absence of bar owners at the spots where the alleged transactions took place, with the help of mobile tower locations....