TN govt forced to shut 3,450 shops

TN govt forced to shut 3,450 shops

TN govt forced to shut 3,450 shops

The Tamil Nadu government, which controls the liquor business in the state, is on the verge of losing more than Rs 10,000 crore from the closure of over 3,000 liquor shops along the highways in the state, following the recent Supreme Court order.

Tamil Nadu has about 6,000 liquor shops across the state. However, soon after the court’s direction, the government was forced to close a total of 3,450 liquor shops.

An official from the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC) said that the government had earned about Rs 25,000 crore from liquor sales last year. Every year the liquor sales will be up by 20%.

The state-owned TASMAC, which runs the liquor shops, is the second highest revenue generator in the state after the tax department. With the AIADMK government already ordering the closure of 1,000 liquor shops as  part of its poll promise, the expected revenue from liquor sales this year was only about Rs 20,000 crore.

However, with the closure of another 3,450 liquor shops, a further dent in the exchequer, to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore, is now expected. “More than 20,000 people, who were working at TASMAC’s shops and bars, might lose their jobs”, the official said.

He said that government is clueless as to whether they should shift the closed liquor shops or denotify the highways. “Officials were facing difficulty in shifting the liquor shops as the public is opposing it,” he said, adding “the denotification process may also take time”.

The hotels and restaurants along the highways have also voiced their problems. S Venkatesh, a member of the hotel owners’ association, said the hotel industry is facing a loss of about Rs 2,000 crore due to the closure of bars.

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