Chandigarh: Over a fortnight after Union government announced scrapping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, the liquor trade has adversity affected and witnessed almost 40 per cent decline across Punjab.
Worst hit are liquor retailers as the demonetisation as not only reduced their counter sales but also they are losing the mandatory quota of liquor to the Excise Department in absence of sufficient customers. The hotel industry and marriage places have also started facing the heat of demonetisation.
The decision of Union government has also affected the liquor distilleries as the ‘demand and supply’ chain of the liquor has been broken in last over 15 days.
With shortage of Rs 100 and Rs 50 currency notes in circulation, sale of liquor ‘pints’ have come down. The customers are forced to buy bottles instead of pints which has narrowed down seller’s profit margin to a large extent.
Talking to Daily Post, Harjit Singh, a liquor contractor, said the liquor trade is worth over Rs 5,000 crore in Punjab. “The liquor sale is expected to go down further,” claimed Singh adding that the exact cascading affects of the demonetisation will come to fore after six to 12 months.
A majority of liquor vends are running from tin sheds and do not have credit/debit card swapping machines which further adds to the woes of the owners, he claims.
Naresh Kumar, a Panchkula resident who owns a liquor vend in Punjab, says that they had been getting liquor on credit from the trader and was unable to return it due to low sales.
The slump in the liquor trade has also cast its shadows at the distilleries which have lowered their production in wake of low demand.
The hotel industry and marriage palaces are also facing the heat of demonetisation with the parties cancelling the booking for parties and other conventions.
A K Taneja, Assistant Manager of a Chandigarh-based hotel, lamented that number of visitors have declined to almost 50 per cent in last two weeks. “The parties, who had booked the banquet halls for parties before Prime Minister Narendra Modi, announced scraping of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes, got them cancelled.”
Sources in the department, however, disclosed that the government has generated revenue to Rs 3,057 crore in 2015-16. A target of an addition amount of Rs 250 to 300 crore (tentative) has been fixed for 2016-17, they added.
The number of liquor vends have also gone up to 10,000 from 7,100 in 2016-15. There are 16 distilleries preparing over 23,90,000 litre liquor everyday in Punjab, he informed.
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