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Thursday, February 29, 2024

TN govt to shut 500 TASMAC shops from tomorrow

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Chennai: Acceding to public requests and demands from political parties like the PMK, the Tamil Nadu Government on Wednesday announced that 500 state-owned TASMAC retail liquor outlets will be closed from tomorrow.

Shops, which were located near any place of worship and where the public opposed will be shut from Thursday across the State.

The closure of 500 shops comes in the backdrop of twin liquor tragedies that claimed more than 20 lives in Villuppuram and Chengalpattu districts of the State last month.

An official release said 500 retail liquor shops run by the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) from tomorrow.

This followed an assurance given by former Electricity, Excise and Prohibition V.Senthilbalaji during the demand for grants for his department in the State Assembly on April 12 that 500 of the 5,329 retail vending shops would be closed.

The announcement was made as per the order of Chief Minister M.K. Stalin.

The release said all the district managers had been asked to identify the 500 shops which were to be closed and ensure that the closure should not lead to sale of illicit arrack sales.

TASMAC Managing Director S.Visakan all the staffs in the shops to be closed from tomorrow would be redeployed and separate orders will be issued in this regard.

Ever since the twin tragedy took place, PMK and other parties were demanding implementation of total prohibition in the State.

Sale of liquor through the TASMAC retail shops had crossed the Rs 44,000 crore mark in 2022-23 as per the Policy Note of the government.

The sales, which stood at Rs 36,050.65 crore in 2021-22, has increased to Rs Rs 44,098.56 crores in 2022-23.

Percentage wise the sales margin was higher when compared to previous years, as the sale of liquor through 5,329 Liquor Retail Vending Shops was one of the major revenue earners
for the state government for funding its various welfare and populist schemes.

The sale for the fiscal 2022-23 is Rs 44,098.56 crore. The sale was expected to cross the Rs 50,000 crore mark in the current 2023-24 fiscal, despite demands from political parties like PMK for introducing Prohibition in the State.

On an average, the daily sales was in the range of about Rs 100 crore and it would cross the Rs 105 to Rs 110 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, an issue which gains momentum 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 12 years, the sales went up from close to Rs 15,000 crore in 2010-11 to Rs 21,680.67 crore in 2012-13, and had 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 33,811.15 crore and Rs 36,050.65 crore in 2016-17, 2017-2018, 2018-19, 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22 respectively, before touching the Rs 44,000 crore mark in 2022-23.

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