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Kerala tops per capita liquor consumption

Amiya Meethal, Mangalore, Mar 16, 2013, DHNS: 0:31 IST

Land of spirit

Despite Kerala having the highest per capita consumption of alcohol in the country, the state government seems indifferent to the dubious tag since liquor happens to be a major source of revenue.

The Economic Survey Review, 2012, released by state Finance Minister K M Mani on Thursday in Thiruvananthapuram, showed that liquor consumption in Kerala was more than 1.76 gallons per person, followed by Maharastra and Punjab. Revenue generated from liquor sale during 2012-13 (till February), including the state beverage outlets and private bars, was Rs 8,086 crore. Liquor sale through the beverage outlets was Rs 433 crore.

Despite a hue and cry being raised from all quarters every time such figures are disclosed,
there has been no change in the trend.

The media has been consistently reporting on the money people in Kerala spend for alcohol during “Onam,” “Vishu” and New Year’s eve, but to no avail.

An embarrassed state government had even instructed the beverage corporation authorities last year to hold back alcohol consumption figures during the festive seasons.

A response to an RTI query by P Raveendran of Kasargod makes a few startling revelations as well.

It was learnt that during 2012-13 (up to January), the state spent Rs 70 lakh through the excise department for campaigning against drugs.

The amount spent during 2011-12 for the same purpose was around Rs 1.2 crore.

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