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Tipplers in tizzy, Liquor rates in TN to become dearer from Feb 1

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Chennai: From February one, tipplers of Tamil Nadu has to shell more out of their pockets as the state-owned TASMAC has announced increase in prices of retail sales of liquor.

An official release here said the reason for hike was the increase in excise duty.

The price of 180 ml liquor sold by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited
(Tasmac) of ordinary and mid-range liquor will be increased by Rs 10.

The price of 180 ml high-end liquor will go up by Rs 20. The price of beer sold in 650-ml containers will increase by Rs 10.

In accordance with this, the release said the prices of liquor sold in 375 ml, 750 ml, and 1,000 ml containers and beers sold in 325 ml and 500 ml containers will also rise as per their quantity and category.

The sale of liquor through the TASMAC has crossed the Rs 44,000 mark in 2022-23.

With the increase in prices now, the state government is expected to net in higher revenue through the liquor sales this year.

The sale of liquor through over 5,300 Retail Vending Shops and bars attached to these Retail Shops, was one of the major revenue earners for the state government for funding its various welfare schemes.

After the upward revision in prices, on an average, the daily sales, which was in the range of about Rs 100 crore, would cross the Rs 110 to Rs 115 crore mark during weekends and festival seasons like, New Year, Pongal and Deepavali.

Ever since the TASMAC has been granted the exclusive privilege of Retail Vending of Indian Made Foreign Spirits under Section 17-C(1-B )(a) of the Tamil Nadu Prohibition Act, 1937 (Tamil Nadu Act X of 1937), from November 29, 2003 by the then AIADMK government headed by Ms J Jayalaltihaa, there has been a significant increase in liquor sales in the state with every passing year, amid various political parties demanding implementation of
total prohibition in the state, especially at the time of elections.

From Rs 3,639.93 crore in 2003-2004, the sales crossed the Rs 5,000 crore mark in 2005-06 to Rs 6,030.77 crore and went past the Rs 10,000 crore mark in 2008-09 to Rs 10,601.50 crore.

In the last decade the sales went up from close to Rs 15,000 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 21,680.67 crore in 2012-13, breached the Rs 25,000 crore barrier in 2015-16 at Rs 25,845.58 crore.

In the last seven years, the revenue earned through liquor sales stood at Rs 26,995.25 crore, Rs 26,797.96 crore, Rs 31,157.83 crore, Rs 33,133.24 crore, Rs 33,811.14 crore and Rs 36,013.14 crore in 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively, before breaching the Rs 40,000 crore mark.

It may be noted that there has been consistent demand for implementing total prohibition
in Tamil Nadu over the years, a demand that gained momentum only during the elections
and at time of any hooch tragedies, with some parties including this in their poll manifesto.

Among the political parties, PMK was the one which was vociferous in stressing the issue,
which has literally fizzled out after elections, before the parties demanding it again during the polls.

The state has also witnessed various protests from women and women outfits demanding closure of liquor shops and following a court orders, shops in the vicinity of schools and hospitals were shut and more than 500 shops were also shut.

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