Ghaziabad Excise-department officials are overjoyed as the district, for the second consecutive year, has achieved the distinction of earning highest revenues in the state through the sales of liquor.
District Excise Officer Harjeet Singh said the district achieved the highest revenue in the year for the second consecutive year in 2009-10.
“Our revenues were the highest in 2008-09 also,” he said.
As per official sales figures till end of March 2010, a total of 1 crore 9 lakh litres of country-made liquor, 84.76 lakh bottles of foreign-liquor and 84.9 lakh bottles of different brands of beer were consumed by the people in the entire district. “The estimated sales could have crossed over Rs 500 crore which earned revenue of around Rs 380.6 crore to the department during 2009-10,” Singh said.
However, the residents were not too happy with the ‘achievement’.
“These are not encouraging signs as increased revenues mean more people turning towards liquor-consumption. There is also a huge network of liquor-smugglers who bring liquor from the other states into the city. If these figures are accounted for, then the figures could rise by 20-25 per cent,” said S.K. Tripathi, a Raj Nagar resident and a social-worker.
Excise department officials said that they have issued more liquor-shop licenses in anticipation of more revenues this year.
“We have increased 12 foreign-liquor shops and 27 country-made liquor shops as compared to the previous year,” Singh said.
Interestingly, out of the crores of rupees of revenue earned by the department in 2009-10, various penalties levied on erring liquor-shops was Rs 3.5 lakh only.