The Maharashtra government has earned only ₹2,400 crore through excise duty since May 4, which is almost 50% lesser than the expected revenue during this period. As per data from the State’s Excise Department, ever since the lockdown was announced in March, the State has lost ₹7,000 crore in revenue.
Excise Commissioner Kantilal Umap said since May 15, when the government allowed home delivery of liquor, 29,88,090 deliveries have been completed across the State. “The state has received ₹2,400 crore in revenue till now, since the sell of alcohol began on May 4,” he said.
As per the data, the liquor shops across the State are doing around 60,000-65,000 home deliveries daily. “Of these deliveries, 90% are in the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR). The largest share is from the areas within the MMR limits as shops have not been allowed to open yet,” he said.
According to officials, the demand for beer and country liquor has gone down considerably leading to a drop in revenue collection. “One of the reasons for the decreased demand for beer is hotels and restaurants have not been opened. Besides, the loss of employment and migration of labour class has resulted in a drop in consumption of country liquor,” an official from the Excise Department said. The official, however, said there has been a growing demand for Indian Made Foreign Liquor.
Excise duty is one of the major revenue sources of the State, outside the Goods and Services Tax. According to State Budget 2020-21, the State collected revenues worth ₹17,977 crore in 2019-20 as per the revised estimates. According to budget estimates for 2020-21, the State was to earn ₹19,225 crore in the ongoing fiscal.
The move to reopen alcohol shops had come under criticism after long queues were observed outside the shops despite the lockdown. As a result, the State government allowed online delivery of alcohol from May 15.