National

Karnataka excise dept points to Covid lockdown, WFH for drop in revenue collection

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on January 02, 2021

Excise Minister of Karnataka, H Nagesh

Karnataka excise department has blamed work from home (WFH) and Covid-19 induced lockdown for drop in excise revenue collection.

Excise department officials, at the State-level meeting chaired by Excise Minister H Nagesh, pointed out that WFH culture has resulted in decrease in excise revenues and urged the minister to approach the Chief Minister to end WFH.

The Covid-19 induced lockdown for three months and WFF option given to employees affected liquor sales. The department saw ₹1.06 crore collection in April 2020 as compared with ₹1,302 crore collection in the same period last year (2019).

Later as the unlock phases began, liquor sales surged month on month and reduced the deficit. At the end of third quarter in 2020-21, the excise collection was at ₹16,405 crore as against ₹16,218 crore in 2019-20. Now, the Excise department officials are confident to achieve ₹22,700 crore fixed for the fiscal 2021.

Excise officials also told the minister that this year’s (2020) Christmas and New Year sales saw severe drop in sales as compared with last year (2019). The year saw 1.06 lakh IML boxes sold on two days (December 30 and 31), while last year saw 1.26 lakh IML boxes were sold on December 30 and 79,000 boxes on December 31.

At the meeting, to improve the revenue collections it was decided by the Excise officials to provide CL7 license (to serve liquor to those who stay in lodge/hotel) only to those who follow all proper guidelines including that of building facilities, cleanliness. and a proposal to be submitted to the government to construct Excise Bhavan at a cost ₹150 crore, to have a re-look at the revenue generated through the licences and take measures to increase the collections and take strict measures to prevent the sale of illegal liquor.

Measures to be taken by the department to improve grievance redressal to the complaints. Kolar, Tumkur and Ramanagar have witnessed increased excise revenue collections and this needs to be appreciated.

Officials sought conducting more checks and fines levied to increase the revenue collection. Measures to reduce fines in village limits. They urged strict check on drug penetration and also sought effective invoke of NDPS rules.

Published on January 02, 2021

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