Crop loss, police action, affects liquor sales

As an outcome of crop loss, coupled with strict police action against drunk driving, the Excise department not achieved its sales target in the year 2013.

The Excise department sets a target for liquor sales, based on the sales in the preceding year. 

Five per cent, in addition to the achievement, was set as the new target for liquor shops in the district. Hence, the target was to sell 17,17,463 cases of liquor in nine months (April to December, 2013). However, only 15,49,991 cases have been sold. While the overall achievement in the district has been 92 per cent, it has been a dismal 76 per cent in Hassan city — thanks to strict police action against drunk driving. In the month of December, the expected sales was 2.08 lakh cases, however, only 1.75 lakh cases were sold.

In rural areas, losses incurred by farmers due to decrease in potato crop has been cited as a major cause for the dip in liquor sales. In Belur and Sakleshpur taluks, farmers have incurred losses due to coffee crop.

Sales

Deputy Superintendent of Excise B V Hoovappa Gowda said, even on the eve of the New Year, there was no surge in sales. “The shops have sold 12,391 cases of liquor on December 31, only a marginal increase over the regular sales,” he said. In 2013, the Police department in the district has filed cases against 1,613 persons for drunk driving and has collected Rs 16,77,450 as fine amount. In 2012, the amount was Rs 8,13,750 from 531 persons. Hassan stands sixth in the list of top liquor selling districts in the State — after Bangalore, Mysore, Belgaum, Dakshina Kannada and Tumkur — and an annual revenue of Rs 500 crore was expected.

If the department has to achieve the set target, 8,672 cases of liquor should be sold, in the district, on an average, daily. At least 3,36,000 persons should consume at least one quarter of liquor every day, to achieve this target, Hoovappa Gowda said.

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