Millennium Post

Bengal collects record revenue of Rs 10,000 cr by selling liquor

Kolkata: Bengal government has collected a record revenue of Rs 10,000 crore in the current fiscal year 2018-19 by selling liquor.

The Excise Department has received the amount till the middle of January this year. When the Trinamool Congress government came to power, the Bengal had an income of around Rs 2,117 crore from liquor in a financial year. In the past eight years, the government has successfully taken the figure to Rs 10,000 crore which is the highest in the history of Bengal since the time of promulgation of the Bengal Excise Act, 1909.

Due to constant monitoring by the various government agencies on unauthorised and spurious liquor, the overall consumption of such liquor has gone down across the state. This has also helped the state Excise Department to generate revenue as many people have switched over to authorised liquor.

Earlier, the selling of illegal liquor was rampant in the state. But the police and Excise Department have carried out a major crackdown on spurious liquor outlets. A record sale of liquor in Bengal has contributed immensely in the exchequer of the cash-strapped Trinamool Congress government.

During the last financial year, the state Excise Department had set a target of raising the excise revenue to Rs 10,000 crore this year. In October 2018, the sale of Indian-made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) stood at 1.20 crore litre, marking a rise of 57 percent over what was recorded in 2017. Similarly, the sale of licensed country liquor in the last year touched 1.24 crore litre, 31 percent more than the corresponding figure of 2017. Interestingly, the Excise Department in 2017-18 received revenue of Rs 9,340 crore which was much higher than the collection in 2016-17 that remained at Rs 5,226 crore.

It may also be mentioned here that the state government's decision to take control over the distribution of liquor was a masterstroke by the government as it secured additional income for the state exchequer. Prohibition in the neighbouring state of Bihar is another big factor. This has also led to a sharp rise in the sale of liquor in the bordering areas of Bengal and Bihar.

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