The lockdown has adversely impacted excise duty and license collection in Maharashtra, as liquor sale was closed till mid-April. State Excise Commissioner Kantilal Umap told the Free Press Journal, “Because of the nationwide lockdown, the excise duty and license fee collection from April to September 24 has been Rs 4,661.68 crore against Rs 7,097 crore during the corresponding period last year. It was down by Rs 2,435.32 crore at 34.31 per cent. This is due to almost 40 per cent drop in the sale of beer and 8 per cent each in country liquor and foreign liquor.” He, however, said the collection of Rs 4,661.68 crore is 24.25 per cent of the total annual target of Rs 19,225 crore for 2020-21.
Umap said, against the target of Rs 17,977 crore, the state had collected excise duty and license fee worth Rs 15,428 crore, a shortfall of Rs 2,549 crore in 2019-20.
According to Umap, nearly 50,35,707 customers were served liquor at their homes, of which 25,64,000 were in Greater Mumbai alone and the balance 24,71,000 were in Thane, Pune and Nagpur. “On Thursday, in all 3,476 home deliveries of liquor were made in the state, comprising 3,278 in Greater Mumbai alone,” he said.
Umap said of the 19,791 liquor licenses, 9,326 are in operation. He informed that the nearly 1,56,085 had applied for license to drink, possess and transport liquor, of which the Excise Department has issued 1,50,955 licenses so far.
He said the Excise Department has registered a total of 18,832 offences and 10,263 were arrested from April to September 23. The department has seized 1,725 vehicles and illegal stock of liquor worth Rs 43.07 crore.
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