The ongoing Sakala Janula Samme, which entered its 22nd day today, has thrown boozers in a tizzy. Alcohol consumers from Telangana region are badly hit because Excise Department officials have swung into action.
In a move that is being seen as `a very harsh one,’ the officials have decided to bring the shutters down on 17 depots and 15 distilleries located Telangana, beginning from today. The stocks will hardly last two days, say excise officials.
This follows the decision of every employee, from the constable to the Joint Commissioners, hailing from the region to join the strike. Out of 27 distilleries in the state, 17 are located in Telangana. As a consequence, sales will fall to dramatic levels, hitting the State ex-chequer very badly.
Ranga Reddy, Nalgonda and Hyderabad districts have always topped in the sale of liquor. Telangana accounted for 60 per cent of earnings. Officials apprehend that the strike would further reduce revenue generation.
It is normally believed that Dasara festivities usher in an increase in sale of liquor across all counters. However, this season has seen a dramatic gap between the demand and supply.
Excise officers while fixing the annual target for 2011-12 fiscal had projected a twenty per cent increase in turnover from that of the previous year. But the Telangana agitation has added to their woes with most people in the business joining the stir either directly or indirectly.
The Andhra Pradesh Beverages Corporation managing director had said that liquor sales was around 43000 cases less than the scheduled sales due to the Telangana movement. The Excise Department’s revenue was estimated at Rs 1124 crore, which was significantly less than that of the projected figure.