Kerala sees record alcohol sales as alcohol sales and bars reopen amid relaxation of lockdown
Alcohol worth Rs 52 crore was sold at various outlets of the state-owned Beverages Corporation (Bevco), a marked increase from the average of Rs 49 crore net on normal days.
Long queues outside a liquor store in Kozhikode on Thursday (Photo PTI)
Kerala recorded record alcohol sales on Thursday after the state government authorized the reopening of alcohol sales and bars as part of the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions. Alcohol worth Rs 52 crore was sold at various outlets of the state-owned Beverages Corporation (Bevco), a marked increase from the average of Rs 49 crore net on normal days.
Bevco has a total of 265 stores across the state, 40 of which have not opened in areas with a test positivity rate (TPR) of more than 20%.
The Beverages Corporation outlet in Thenkurissi, Palakkad district recorded the highest alcohol sales in the state at Rs 69 lakh. Bevco officials said the increase in sales was due to the fact that it shares a border with Tamil Nadu. The Powerhouse Road store in Thiruvananthapuram district came in second with Rs 66 lakh in sales. Third place went to Irinjalakuda in Thrissur district at Rs 65 lakh.
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Consumer-supplied liquor stores, which are also run by the Kerala government, also saw record sales on Thursday. Alcohol worth Rs 8 crore was sold in these outlets. On a normal day, the sale in these outlets is around Rs 6-7 crore.
Of Consumerfed’s 39 outlets in total, three of them remained closed due to Covid standards. A Consumerfed store in Alappuzha district was the top seller of alcohol worth Rs 43.27 lakh. The Kozhikode outlet took second place with Rs 40.1 lakh, while the Koyilandy outlet in Kozhikode district earned Rs 40 lakh.
Beverages Corporation chief executive Yogesh Gupta IPS said stores were instructed to follow Covid protocols. A circular was also issued regarding SOPs to be followed by employees in stores.
No figures have been released on the sale of alcohol in bars.
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Meanwhile, the price of alcohol sold in bars was increased on Friday. Spirits will now be available at Bevco outlets and bars at two prices. The increase in the price of alcohol is intended to offset losses incurred by the closure of Bevco outlets during the lockdown, which is believed to be a whopping Rs 400 crore.
According to an order issued by the tax department, the margin for Consumerfed will be 20 percent and the margin for bars has been increased to 25 percent.
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