With the Lok Sabha elections round the corner, the excise and taxation department has earned revenue of Rs. 13.70 crore from applications it received for liquor vends in Jalandhar division for 2014-15, a net increase of 56 per cent from last year.
While 3,958 applications were received for liquor vends in the division last year, the figure has gone up to 7,135 this time.
Department officials are of the view that the election season is the reason behind the rise in the number of applications. Since the sale of liquor is much higher during the poll period, the department’s profits are set to increase significantly.
The excise department has marginally reduced the number of vends of Punjab medium liquor (PML) from 1,404 to 1,394 this year but added 18 outlets of Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) to the last year’s.
Jalandhar division includes Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr, Jalandhar I and Jalandhar II areas.
As many as 7,135 applications have been received by the excise department for the auction of liquor vends for the next financial year. The auction will be held on Saturday at Local Red Cross Bhawan.
Last year, the department had earned Rs. 24.40 crore from applications in the Jalandhar division. The department earned a profit of Rs. 38.10 crore in the financial year.
In Hoshiarpur, 1,456 applications were received in 2013-14 year while the number of applications has shot up to 2,666 this time.
In Jalandhar-I, 829 applications were received last year while 1,733 applications have been received this year. The income has shot up from Rs. 5.8 crore to Rs. 11.29 crore.
As many as 1,383 applications have been received for Jalandhar-II this year which was 829 in 2013-14. The income has seen a jump of Rs. 2.35 crore from the last year.
In Kapurthala, 887 applications have been received for the next financial year against 684 applications received for 2013-14.
For Nawanshahr, 361 applications were received in 2013-14 while the figure has gone up to 466 this year.
A department official said the department had authorised the State Bank of Patiala, Axis Bank and ICICI Bank to collect applications. The department will go ahead with the allotment after getting clearance from the Election Commission in this regard.
Deputy excise and taxation commissioner Sarojini Gautam Sharda said the draw for liquor vends will be on held on Saturday from 10 am onwards under the supervision of the deputy commissioner and a state observer.