After Cabinet nod, Jharkhand government to sell liquor from August 1

Ranchi, Feb 21 (IANS) The Jharkhand Cabinet on Tuesday approved an Excise Department proposal to allow the state government to get into sale of liquor in the state.

“The Cabinet, at a meeting held on Tuesday, gave its approval to selling of liquor by the government. The Jharkhand Beverage Corporation will begin selling liquor in the state from August 1,” Excise Secretary Avinash Kumar told reporters here.

The government move aimed at generating more revenue has been opposed by liquor contractors in the state. The opposition too has been critical of the move.

Even since the creation of Jharkhand in November 2000, the successive state governments have made several changes in the excise policy to collect revenue from liquor sales.

Earlier, businessmen did not participate in auctioning of liquor shops where the possibility of less sales was less. Thus, auctioning of many vends could not take place.

To tackle this situation, the government started clubbing shops together and then putting them to auction.

However, the revenue from the liquor sale has not shown improvement.

Till January 2017 in the 2016-17 fiscal, the government just managed to collect Rs 796 crore as revenue from liquor sale as against the target of Rs 1,500 crore for the entire financial year.