Alcohol worth Rs 48.28 crore was sold on December 31 in Bengaluru, figures released by the Karnataka Excise Department stated. The figures stated that 56,000 carton boxes of Indian Made Liquor (IML) and 50,000 carton boxes of beer were sold in the city on Thursday. The figures were comparable to the sale of alcohol on December 31 in 2019, when Rs 49.89 crore worth of alcohol was sold in the city. The same figure was Rs 67.5 crore for the entire state.
This is even after restrictions were placed in Bengaluru under section 144 of the CrPC from 12 pm on December 31 to 6 am on January 1. While people were free to move outside, they were not allowed to gather in groups of more than five people. 'No man' zones were created in a few busy areas of the city like Church Street, Indiranagar and Brigade Road.
The police in the city encouraged residents to celebrate the new year inside their homes.
The Excise Department stated that it had sold alcohol worth Rs 519 crore in Karnataka in the month of December 2020. This is the highest sales figure in the month of December in the last four years.
The department had earlier reported that liquor sales had picked up in the second half of 2020, after the lockdown enforced over the coronavirus outbreak restricted the sale of alcohol for over a month in March and April. As of November-end in 2020, the cumulative revenue collection was only 4.25% less than that generated by November-end in 2019.
The deficit was reduced gradually from 58.15% to 33.49%, 21.26% and 15.07% in May, June, July and August respectively, as per figures shared by the excise department.
On the first day of stores reopening after the lockdown on May 4, 2020, long queues were seen in Bengaluru outside alcohol stores. The state reported sales of Rs 45 crore worth of alcohol on the day.