Ranchi, March 8 (IANS) With the Jharkhand government preparing to sell liquor from August 1, consumers are sceptical of getting chilled beer.
Since 2008, Jharkhand is one of the few states where beer sale is more than of foreign liquor. As per official data, in current 2016-2017 financial year, total 25.96 lakh bottles of beer were sold in comparison to 19.29 lakh bottles of foreign liquor.
In 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, the sale of beer was 36.52 lakh and 34.68 lakh bottles, in comparison to 24.90 lakh and 22.60 lakh bottles of foreign liquor.
The sale of foreign liquor was more than beer till 2007-2008, with a sale of 12.46 lakh foreign liquor over 8.96 lakh beer bottles.
But the data also indicated that the sale of both foreign liquor and beer declined in 2015-2016.
"This year data is also not satisfactory. The state has earned around Rs 750 crore from excise duty on liquor against the target of Rs 1,100 crore in the current financial year. We were expecting a hike in sale after Bihar banned liquor," an official of the State Excise and Prohibition Department told IANS.
The official, however, admitted that the sale of liquor has increased in areas bordering Bihar.
The duplicate bottles of foreign liquor available illegally is one of the causes which shows less sale of foreign liquor. People love beer as it is less intoxicating in comparison to foreign liquor, the official added.
The Excise Department has not pinned hope on increase in sale of liquor during the Holi festival, the official said.
Last month, the Jharkhand cabinet approved an excise and prohibition department's proposal paving the way for the Jharkhand beverage corporation limited (JBCL) to control the retail business of foreign liquor and beer from August 1, 2017.