After picking up in July August, liquor consumption dips in Pune region in September
Also, September witnessed a decline of 50.88 per cent of the revenue earnings for the region as the department could fetch only Rs 127.92 crore for the said month as compared to Rs 178.80 crore during the same period last year.Updated: Oct 18, 2020, 16:25 IST
With liquor shops shut since the lockdown in March and subsequent shutdown extensions due to Covid-19 pandemic, the state excise department for Pune region has pegged its losses for the industry between April and September 2020 at Rs 190 crore.
Also, September witnessed a decline of 50.88 per cent of the revenue earnings for the region as the department could fetch only Rs 127.92 crore for the said month as compared to Rs 178.80 crore during the same period last year. Percentage-wise the overall decline has been at least 21.74 per cent, excise department officials said.
According to state excise SP Santosh Zagade, the revenue losses have been significant in April and May due to Covid-19 lockdown. “However, September also shows revenue decline as full-fledged operations are yet to begin. The industry is recovering slowly and it will take time for revenues to come back to the original position again,” Zagade said.
The state excise figures reveal that the department earned Rs 45.88 crore for April 2020 compared to Rs 121.71 crore during the same period last year; Rs 107.91 crore for May compared to Rs 140.03 crore during the same period in 2019; Rs 101.16 crore in June compared to Rs 124.77 crore during the same period in 2019; Rs 157.48 crore in July 2020 compared to Rs 160.53 crore during the same period in 2019; Rs 143.92 crore in August compared to Rs 148.50 crore during the same period last year and Rs 127.92 crore in September compared to Rs 178.80 crore during the same period last year. The total revenue earned stood at Rs 874.34 crore in 2019-2020 and Rs 684.28 crore in 2020-2021 during the corresponding period and total aggregate loss has been pegged at Rs 190.07 crore and total loss has been measured at 21.74%.
The Pune unit of the Maharashtra state excise department took action against 23 establishments, including 21 hotels, one wine shop and a countrymade liquor shop, for violating social distancing guidelines and endangering the lives of customers amidst the rapid spread of Covid-19 in the past 48 hours.
An aggregate fine of Rs 10,000 each was imposed on the said establishments. The total fine is estimated to be worth Rs 2.30 lakh and it will be deposited in the state treasury soon, Pune excise department officials had stated.
Ikram Khan, owner of a prominent restaurant int he city, said, “The industry needs rebates and reduction in GST duties. Already 50 per cent of restaurants are not going to start in the future. Most of the establishments have taken loans and are paying EMIs. The excise department is resorting to coercive measures like using tapes to measure distance between two customers and measuring distances between two tables. If this is the scenario then the industry is doomed further. Heavy fines are being imposed for violations. The strictures are so many that better the industry be shutdown. The government must decide whether they want to shut the business or support it. At least 20 per cent of our earnings goes to the government. The government is our partner in business and it is high time that the chief minister intervenes in the matter.”
Manish Thakur, owner of GB Restaurants in Hadapsar, said, “The hotel industry has been hit hard and there is no business for us. The excise duty paid by us has become next to nil as there is no business. The industry needs sops from the government and needs a tax holiday for next one year.”
The Maharashtra government permitted hotels, beer bars, food malls and restaurants to reopen from October 5. The state government made it mandatory for these establishments to follow public safety norms related to the Covid-19 and accordingly issued guidelines to prevent the spread of coronavirus infection due to unnecessary crowding of citizens during normal business activities. All hotels and other hospitality units have been instructed to take suitable measures to restrict any further transmission of Covid-19 while providing the services. The Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) aims to minimise all possible physical contact between staff and guests and maintain social distancing and other preventive and safety measures against Covid-19.
Month- 2020- 2019
April- Rs 45.88 crore- Rs 121.71 crore
May- Rs 107.91 crore- Rs 140.03 crore
June- Rs 101.16 crore- Rs 124.77 crore
July- Rs 157.48 crore- Rs 160.53 crore
August- Rs 143.92 crore- Rs 148.50 crore
September- Rs 127.92 crore- Rs 178.80 crore
Total- Rs 684.28 crore- Rs 874.34 crore
Total aggregate loss has been pegged at Rs 190.07 crore
Total loss has been measured at 21.74%