India. TASMAC staff under pressure to meet sales targets: Unions

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TASMAC employees have alleged that after the closure of 500 oulets, they were under pressure from officials to increase sales and also meet targets set every month. TASMAC district mangers were summoned for a meeting recently at the agency’s headquarters in Chennai and given instructions that sales volumes should not drop at any cost, reliable sources said.

Members of the TASMAC workers’ union, who are aware of this instruction, said they would be submitting a letter on the issue to Chief Minister Jayalalithaa, stating that this was an ‘unfair practice’.

N. Periyaswamy, President, Tamil Nadu AITUC Tasmac Employee’s Union, said, “The AIADMK government had announced that liquor shops will be closed down in a phased manner. It was a welcome move but now officials at TASMAC are comparing month on month sales and are pushing employees to increase sales and meet targets.”

He said, “We have received news from employees in Chennai and neighbouring districts that they have received instructions to increase sales. If they were really concerned about closing down shops they would not be putting pressures on managers to increase sales. By doing this the whole idea of shutting down shops is defeated,” he said.

Some of the outlets in Chennai said they had received instructions that they should meet the monthly sales target else action would be taken.

“It was an oral communication and nothing was given in writing,” said a TASMAC employee from an outlets in Chennai.

However, officials denied these instructions. A senior TASMAC official, who requested anonymity, said, “This is baseless. There are no such targets. TASMAC has never fixed targets since inception,” he said.

Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (TASMAC), a cash cow in June announced the closure of 500 outlets across the State. It also reduced the operating hours of the existing outlets from 12 to 10 hours. On an average, TASMAC sells liquor worth Rs 67- 70 crore every day through its more than 6,000 outlets across the State.