Consecutive droughts in the parched Marathwada region seem to have had no effect on liquor manufacturers.
As many as 16 manufacturers, who are into the production of beer, country made and foreign liquor have contributed Rs 583 crore more in terms of revenue to the state excise department in 2015-16 as compared to the previous financial year. The units of all these manufacturers are spread over Aurangabad, Nanded and Osmanabad districts.
Aurangabad district has six beer, four foreign liquor and one country liquor manufacturing units, while Nanded district has just one foreign liquor manufacturing unit. Osmanabad district has a unit each of foreign liquor and country liquor.
In the financial year 2014-15, the manufacturing units in Aurangabad district contributed excise duty to the tune of Rs 3,245 crore through liquor production. The excise duty amount surged by Rs 420 crore to reach Rs 3,665 crore in 2015-16.
The Nanded excise department collected Rs 68 crore duty from the foreign liquor manufacturing unit in the last financial year. At Rs 185 crore, the collection figures almost tripled in 2015-16.
Osmanabad district with its two units managed to generate Rs 128 crore duty by the end of 2015-16, as compared to Rs 82 crore in the last fiscal.
YM Pawar, excise deputy commissioner of the Aurangabad division, said, “The excise duty collected from 16 manufacturing units spread across three districts of Marathwada has registered a handsome surge of Rs 583 crore.”
Pawar said though the possibility of drop in the sale of liquor cannot be denied due to the prevailing drought situation, the collection figures do not reflect its effect on the duty paid by the manufacturers.
The region has 702 shops selling country liquor, 103 shops selling country as well as foreign liqour and 1984 bars and permit rooms.
Pawar said the department has generated Rs 27.98 crores in the fiscal 2015-16 through the renewal of licences of wine shops, bars and permit rooms.