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The Liquor Saga: J&K set to double revenue from 2017-18, consumption down by 44%  

JAMMU: Jammu and Kashmir is projected to generate Rs 1900 Crore from the sale of liquor and other alcoholic beverage consumption by the end of current fiscal year, more than double its revenue in 2017-18, even as the alcohol consumption in the Union Territory has seen a dip with boozers drinking nearly 90,000 bottles of different brands per day this year, compared to 1.61 lakh bottles in the year 2017-18.

In the last five-and-a-half year, the liquor sale has generated a revenue of Rs 7491.55 Crore, almost 93% of it coming from the ten districts of Jammu region, whereas as many as 28.74 Crore bottles have been sold in this period from 2017-18 till September 2022, making for an average consumption of 5.22 Crore bottles for a region with the population of 1.26 Crore.

As per the Excise Department data, over 5.90 crore bottles of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL), JK Special Whisky, Beer and Ready-to-Drink (RTD) were sold in 2017-18, followed by over 5.87 core in 2018-19, over 5.76 crore in 2019-20 and over 4.13 crore in 2020-21 and over 4.66 crore in 2021-22 and over 2.42 crore till September this year.

Barring marginal increase in 2021-22, otherwise there is a steady decline in the consumption of liquor in Jammu and Kashmir, Excise Commissioner Pankaj Kumar Sharma informed, adding the JK special Whisky was the most popular drink of alcoholics with its bottle share standing at 47.84 per cent followed by IMFL at 26.80 per cent, beer at 25.13 per cent and RTD at 0.22 per cent in all these years, while the IMFL share in the revenue was the highest at 48 per cent, followed by whisky at 41 per cent, beer 10.5 per cent and RTD 0.05 per cent since 2017-18 till September this year.

Revenue Generation on Rise

 The revenue generation is on the upward trend, registering Rs 1,274.97 crore in 2018-19, compared to Rs 845.82 crore in the previous financial year. The revenue generated in 2019-20 was Rs 1,320.59 crore, Rs 1353.81 crore in 2020-21 and Rs 1,777.36 crore in 2021-22.

“So far till September this year, the revenue generated was Rs 919.01 crore which is expected to reach Rs 1,900 crore at the end of this financial year,” said Sharma. This projection is more than double compared to the figures of over Rs 845 core in 2017-18.

 Regional Divide

Jammu province was the main contributor in the revenue generation compared to Kashmir valley. As per the data, in the last five-and-a-half year, the liquor sale has generated a revenue of Rs 7491.55 Crore, with Rs 6936.82 Crore (92.59%) of it coming from Jammu region, and Rs 554.73 crore (7.41%) from Kashmir Valley.

The revenue generated in Jammu division was Rs 773.37 crore in 2017-18, Rs 1,155.24 crore in 2018-19, Rs 1,201.72 crore in 2019-20, Rs 1,272.04 crore in 2020-21, Rs 1,671.98 crore in 2021-22 and Rs 862.47 crore 2022-23 till September. The Kashmir valley, on the other hand, contributed Rs 72.45 crore in 2017-18, Rs 119.73 crore (2018- 19), Rs 118.87 crore (2019-20), Rs 81.77 crore (2020-21), Rs 105.39 crore (2021-22) and Rs 56.55 crore (till September 2022).

 E-Auction of Liquor Vends


 The excise commissioner said the revenue generated includes Rs 217 crore generated through eauction of wine shops deposited in the month of March.

“We have issued a total of 655 licences under J&K excise policy and J&K liquor license and sales rules this year, out of which 279 have been issued under J&K EL2, popularly known as wine shops and 250 to bars with restaurants, hotels, banquets and clubs, and at institutions wherever alcohol is used for experimental, scientific purpose or for industrial purpose,” Sharma said.

After the introduction of e-bidding and e-auction last year, he said 279 liquor vends were eauctioned and the highest bidders were given the licences, generating a revenue of Rs 217 crore to the government exchequer against Rs 123 crore the previous year.

“The revenue generated is huge compared to the period before the introduction of the e-auction when only Rs 6 to 7 crore used to be realised on account of the annual renewal fee of the (wine shop) licences,” he pointed out.

Sharma said there are six distilleries, 12 bottling plants and three breweries besides 52 wholesale businessmen operating in Jammu and Kashmir.

Producing The Best Beer

 “Our manufacturing plants are producing quality liquor and this liquor is liked by people within the country and outside as well. As many as 90 lakh bottles of beer were sold last year, while 82 lakh beer bottles were sold this year till September.

“The climate and weather conditions in Jammu and Kashmir make it unique for producing India’s best beer which is sent to different parts of the country and abroad as well. Beer worth more than Rs 700 crore is exported from the Union Territory,” he said.


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