Liquor drinking population up by 25% in Valley; Jammu the same

Srinagar, June 02: The consumption of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), JK Special Whiskey, Beer and Ready to Drink (RTD), has witnessed considerable increase in the state and on that account, revenue from liquor has risen proportionally during the past three years.

According to official sources, the rise is sudden and steep and the rise in numbers of consumers has been seen in a rather unexpected region of the state.

Overall, the state witnessed a total increase of 5.4 percent consumption over the last year and the corresponding increase in revenue was 20 per cent during the same period.

A total of 5.75 crore bottles of Indian manufactured foreign liquor, whiskey and beer were consumed during 2015-16 compared to 5.46 crore bottles in the previous fiscal.

These figures were submitted in the Assembly by Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu in his response to a question by BJP MLA Sat Paul Sharma.

The state government earned a revenue of Rs 77.79 crore on account of excise duty on the sale of liquor during the last fiscal, which was 20.6 per cent higher than Rs 61.78 crore earned in 2014-15.

Jammu city, which is divided in two ranges — city north and city south, accounted for more than 45 per cent liquor consumption last year. Over 2.60 crore bottles of various liquor were consumed in the city.

Incidentally, Jammu city did not see a rise in alcohol consumption compared to the last year as the numbers were same.

Unexpectedly, however, liquor consumption in Kashmir Valley shot up by over 25 per cent last year compared to 2014-15. While 29 lakh bottles of liquor were consumed in the financial year 2015-16, the figure for 2014-15 was 22.80 lakh.

The state’s revenue generated by the sale of liquor rose from Rs 3.38 crore in 2014-15 to Rs 5.27 crore last year.

Leh region of the state, which has a population of just over 1.5 lakh has the highest per capita liquor consumption.

More than 28 lakh bottles of liquor were consumed in this cold desert region last year which was almost identical to the figures of 2014-15.

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