Tipplers from the city consumed a record amount of alcohol in 2018 with 19.25 per cent more during April to December as compared to previous year, the reflection of which is in higher revenue collection, according to statistics released by state excise department.
Higher sale of alcohol has brought good news for state excise department as the revenue earned has increased by 9.18 percent for Pune district. Higher sale of alcohol and its reflection in more revenue is a boon for the excise department as the sale of liquor had undergone a severe hit in 2017 due to Supreme Court ruling banning sale and service of alcohol within 500 metres of highways. The Ban was lifted in July 2017.
According to statistics revealed by the Pune branch of state excise department, liquor sales in Pune showed an unprecedented increase which includes Country Liquor by 23.17 per cent, Indian manufactured foreign liquor (IMFL) by 14.96 per cent, Beer by 11.92 per cent and Wine by 26.95 per cent.
The state excise department collected ₹1195.07 crore from April to December 2018 against ₹1094.62 crore collected from April to December 2017. As per officials,in 2018 revenue collection rate saw an increase by almost 9.18 per cent.
In the nine months from April 2018 to December 2018, Pune consumed 209.93 bl (bulk litres) of country liquor,which is 39.4 bl more than what was consumed during the same period in 2017.
As far as country Indian manufactured foreign liquor (IMFL) is concerned, it also saw a hike in consumption by 14.96 per cent. IMFL sale between April 2018 and December in 2018 was 250.24 bl as compared to 217.68 bl during the same period in 2017.In the case of Beer, sale from April to December in 2018 was 377.64 bl as against 337.42 bl during the same period in 2017.Along with that, sale of wine also witnessed a rise by 26.95 per cent. From April to December in 2018, the sale of wine was 10.50 bl as against 8.28 bl during the same period in 2017.
“There has been no specific reason behind the spike in sale of alcohol, but the possible reasons could be increasing population,changing culture and the recently lifted government ban on serving of liquor along the highways,” said SD Phulpagar, deputy superintendent, state excise department, Pune.
Shivaji Khandve,president of Pune district wine merchants association said, “Due to strict vigilance by state excise department on illegal trade of liquor from adjoining states, there has been an increased sale of liquor in Pune. As far as our industry is concerned we are happy with these figure and hopes trend continues.”
Statistics further revealed that from April to December 2018,Punities served around 848.31 bl of liquor through 2,600 liquor establishments in Pune district.
Excise department seized liquor worth Rs 4.68 cr in April -December 2018
The Pune branch of the state excise department registered 2,343 cases of illegal sale of liquor in the city from April to December 2018 which was less by 264 as compared to cases registered in the same period in 2017.
In connection to the registered 2,343 cases the state excise department, arrested 1,599 people and seized 163 vehicles. During this nine-month-period, the excise department seized liquor worth ₹4.68 crore.
“Criminal activities in our jurisdiction have dropped significantly.The credit goes to our team,as per guideline issued by our seniors we have kept strict vigilance through the city and district to prevent illegal trade of liquor,” said SD Phulpagar,deputy superintendent,state excise department, Pune. Those engaged in illegal trade of liquor should consider themselves warned as this drive will be continued through the year, added Phulpagar.
In 2017,Pune branch of the state excise department seized liquor worth ₹ 6.64 crore in 2,607 cases registered with them. In connection to the registered cases they arrested 1,497 criminals and seized 207 vehicles from Pune district.
As far as 2018 is concerned, December month was said to be very busy in terms of keeping tabs on illegal liquor activity for state excise department. The excise department registered 366 cases in December 2018 the highest in the year while September 2018 saw registration of 207 cases, the lowest in 2018. A similar trend was seen in 2017,when December 2017 recorded the highest cases with 447 illegal liquor cases and April 2017 registered 180 illegal trading cases, the lowest in 2017.