When it comes to boozing, Delhiites prefer beer most. As per latest Delhi government statistics, beer has emerged as the most preferred drink, closely followed by wine and other brands of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL).
A staggering 11.78 crore bottles of beer were sold in the national capital in 2009-10, while a total of 9.56 crore bottles of IMFL were sold during the same period.
The sale of 'desi' liquor also registered an impressive growth in the year as 6.81 crore bottles of country liquor were sold in the city against 6.6 crore bottles in the previous year.
In 2008-09, the people of the city had consumed 9.74 crore bottles of beer while a total of 8.39 crore bottles of IMFL were sold during the period.
The preference for beer and IMFL has been on the rise in the last two years in the city as in 2007-08 country-made liquor had topped the list with 11.26 crore bottles. In 2007-08, 8.4 crore bottles of beer and 8.3 crore bottles of IMFL were consumed in the city.
As per excise department, 10 kgs of opium were consumed in the city during 2009-10 while same amount was consumed in the previous year also.
Officials in the Excise Department said it has also registered an impressive growth in collection of revenue through sale of liquor in the first seven months of the current fiscal compared to corresponding period in 2009-10.
They said the government collected R1,103 crore as excise tax between April one and November 4 against its collection of R878.44 crore in the same period last fiscal.
In its budget, the government had estimated a collection of
R1,680 crore from the sale of liquor in 2010-11 which is 11 per cent of the total estimated tax collection of R15,582 crore for the financial year. The officials said the collection will go beyond the estimated amount.
The government had collected R1,630 crore from sale of liquor in 2009-10 as against R1,420 crore the preceding fiscal. They said the collection of revenue has registered impressive growth as the department has initiated serious efforts to streamline the tax collection.
Last month Delhi Government had notified a new Excise Act which provides for stricter norms and regulations for sale of liquor in the city. The legislation, which was passed by Delhi Assembly late last year, replaces the Punjab Excise Act 1914, provisions of which were extended to Delhi in 1939.