The Delhi government's Excise department has earned nearly ₹1,700 crore in excise duty and value-added tax in the first quarter of 2023-24, official data showed.

In the 2022-23 fiscal, the department had raked in ₹6,821 crore by selling over 62 crore bottles of liquor. The amount included ₹5,548.48 crore as excise duty and ₹1,272.52 crore as value added tax.

The Excise department expects the revenues to increase in the next few months with the opening of more liquor shops.

"Beer is preferred during the summer months by customers. It has a lower excise duty, which is why the revenue collection in the first half is always relatively lower as compared to the second half of the financial year when whisky sells more," said an official.

The city government's Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation and Delhi Consumers' Cooperative Wholesale Stores operate 574 liquor shops in the national capital while more than 930 hotels, clubs and restaurants serve liquor in the city.

The Delhi government, in its budget for 2023-24, has estimated a total excise collection of ₹7,365 crore -- nearly 14 per cent of its ₹53,565 crore tax revenue.