A right to information (RTI) inquiry reveals that Punjab’s liquor market is much bigger than collectively of Haryana, Delhi and Chandigarh and it has beaten them with considerable margins.
Punjab has one liquor shop for every 1,939 people. Whereas, Haryana has one liquor shop for 4,861 people and Delhi has one shop per 15,000 persons.
RTI filed by senior advocate and social worker Kamal Anand also reveals that Punjab government aims to sell 36 crore of liquor bottles in the year 2016-17, which is liquor quota of state government.
The data contradicts government’s talk of controlling liquor consumption.
The next shocking part is that during its last seven years of tenure, the government has opened over 3,000 new shops of liquor. In year, 2008-09 there were 6,637 liquor shops in the state which increased to 9,842 in year 2016-17, which roughly makes one liquor shop every day.
There are 169 lakh voters in Haryana for which the government has 3,491 liquor shops and in Delhi there are 130 lakh voters for which the Delhi government has 873 shops and in Punjab there are 191 lakh voters (including women) for which the SAD government have 9,897 liquor shops.
Advocate Anand said government is opening liquor shops every day, however, did government do such with health and education and did they open this much schools and hospitals during their rule?
However, the data is still excluded the liquor consumed in the state through illicit distilling and smuggled alcohol from neighboring states and the liquor sold in army canteens, where it costs much less.