Night curfew in Mumbai impacted liquor sale in December
The night curfew imposed by the state government in December-January impacted the sale of liquor in Mumbai in December, which normally records high sales annually.
December sees the highest consumption of liquor in the year due to Christmas and the New Year. However, this year due to restrictions and night curfew owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the establishments were shut by 11pm.
According to the state excise department data, December 2020 witnessed a decrease in consumption of liquor to 38 lakh litres compared to 41 lakh litres in December 2019.
The worst-affected was the sale of beer, which struggled at 50 lakh litres in December 2020, compared to 70 lakh litres during the same month in 2019.
“The decrease in the consumption in Mumbai was due to the night curfew,” said state excise commissioner Kantilal Umap. “In case of beer, people are still not drinking it as a precautionary measure as they want to avoid chilled drinks, due to the pandemic,” he added.
The state government imposed a 15-day night curfew between December 22 and January 5 in line with the Maharashtra government’s decision amid concerns over the outbreak of a new strain of the coronavirus in the United Kingdom.
The hoteliers said it was natural that consumption of alcohol would take a hit. “People tend to celebrate throughout the night, but since all celebrations were cancelled, it directly affected the intake of alcohol,” said Pankaj Saxena, general manager, Radisson Blu, Mumbai International Airport hotel. He added that many have now switched from chilled beer to liquors and wines at room temperature.
The hotels and restaurants have lost approximately ₹150 crore in revenue due to restrictions on the December 31 celebrations.
Savio D’sa, who is a consultant in the hospitality sector, said the curfew was unwarranted. “Many travelled to Goa to bring in the New Year and it was a loss for the state’s exchequer. People tend to start celebrations only after 10pm and it was not possible to wind up within an hour. Hance, many had to cancel their plans,” said D’sa.