Visakhapatnam: Government of Andhra Pradesh is all set to start liquor stores. As private dealers did not purchase the ground stock, the sale of liquor is drastically down in September. The excise department has registered a downfall of at least 20 per cent sales when compared with sale in September 2018.
According to statistics, the total sales of Indian made liquor (IML) and beer are about 21.89 lakh cases and 16.16 lakh cases respectively. However, this is far less when compared to the sale last year in the same month.
In September 2018, the total sale of IML was around 34.19 lakh cases and beer around 22.19 cases.
The sale value has gone down for the first time after the state was bifurcated. The total sale value in 2018 September was Rs 1,722.09 crore and this year it is just Rs 1,304.33 crore. It may hardly touch the mark of Rs 1,400 crore. There was always growth in the sale of liquor in Andhra Pradesh from the last five years. The growth rate had fallen to 11.89 per cent in 2018, but had never gone into negative growth except for this time.
There is always good revenue from liquor sales in the state. In 2014, the total liquor sales were about Rs 11,569.65 crore, Rs 12,596.2 crore in 2015, Rs 13,641.47 crore in 2016, Rs 17,291.29 crore in 2017 and Rs 20128.43 crore in 2018. Total sales are on the rise this year too. According to statistics, the total sales till date this year is around Rs 10,189.13 crore and for the corresponding period in 2018, only Rs 9,805.3 crore.
A senior official said, “Sales are down as shops will be opened by government. The depots have already begun shifting liquor bottles to the government outlets, and this is currently not shown in the sale. So this will reflect in the sales in October. Usually, the growth rate goes down a month before licenses expire, but negative growth rate is a bit rare.”
However, as today is the last day for private wine shops in the state, the wine dealers will get none from the leftover stock. According to the conditions, all leftover stock will be taken by the excise department, and dealers will not get any amount in return. Most of the shops have already cleared the ground stock, but a few are still struggling.
When approached, Andhra Pradesh State Wine Dealers Welfare Association President Rayala Subba Rao said, “According to the norms, one cannot have more than six bottles. If stock in the wine stores is left, we have to return them to the excise department. And as per the norms, we don’t get a single rupee for returning it. So everyone is trying to clear the pending stock. Most of them have already done so, and few may have to bear the loss.”
In the past, there are not many cases where the stock had been returned after expiry of the license. Usually, dealers used to bid for the shops and the same stock was utilised. In some cases, dealers used to sell the stock to the new dealers who got the shop in the lucky draw or the bid. Now as government is taking away the shops, dealers have no other option other than handing over the leftover stock to government.
A wine shop dealer said, “I had excess ground stock. From Tuesday, we should not have more than six bottles. So I’m giving away the bottles to some of my friends and others free of charge. Why should I give it back to government when I don’t get anything? Gifting the bottles is the best idea. Most of the stock was sold out. We are distributing only the leftover few to friends and relatives.”...