Karnataka has recorded a decline in liquor sales in the state in August after the new government increased the excise duty. As per the statement from the Federation of Wine Merchants’ Association, Karnataka, the first two weeks of August have seen a significant decline in both sales and revenue.
It may be recalled that while presenting his first budget since the Congress government was voted to power in Karnataka, chief minister Siddaramaiah increased duty on all 18 slabs of Indian Made Liquor (IML) by 20 per cent and on beer by 10 per cent. The revenue target for the excise department’s target was also hiked to Rs 36,000 crore.
Despite encouraging numbers in July, just 21.87 lakh boxes of IML were sold in the first half of August, a 14.25 per cent decline from the sales registered during the same period in August 2022. As per the association, the old stock would have continued to be sold until the end of the month, but the new pricing took effect on 20 July. However, the demand has decreased since the new pricing were introduced.
When prices were lower in June, there was an increase in demand. While 54.89 lakh boxes were sold in July 2022, 65.46 lakh boxes were sold in July 2023. Similarly, sales of beer saw a 26.83 per cent rise in July 2023 when compared with the sales in the corresponding period in 2022.
Reports say that in August, there is an increase in beer sales in the initial 15 days. The beer consumption had increased by 21.07 per cent, compared to the corresponding period in 2022.