Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed an overall increase of 5.3 per cent in liquor consumption, while it has surged by 29.5 per cent in Srinagar, Budgam, and Ganderbal districts in central Kashmir.
According to the figures shared by the Finance Minister in the Assembly on Wednesday in response to queries raised Sat Pal Sharma, 5.46 crore bottles of different varieties of liquor were consumed in the state during 2014-15. In 2015-16 fiscal, the figure has increased to 5.75 crore, the figures revealed.
Among various ranges falling under the jurisdiction of JK Excise Department Srinagar Budgam and Ganderbal Range, the consumption of liquor increased by 7,12,404 bottles in 2015-16. In 2014-15 fiscal, 22, 41, 504 bottles of liquor were consumed in the state, while as 29, 53, 908 bottles were consumed in 2015-16.
The maximum increase was witnessed in consumption of whiskey: in 2014 -15, only 100 bottles of the liquor were consumed in the range, but it rose by 900 per cent, touching 1,000 bottles, in 2015-16.
The other varieties of liquor too did not lag behind by much in terms of their consumption in central Kashmir. The consumption of Ready-to-Drink liquor has increased by 68 per cent to 33,597 bottles, while that of the Indian-made-Foreign liquor and beer has grown by 32 per cent and 10 per cent, respectively. About15.29 lakh bottles of Indian-made-Foreign liquor and13.96 lakh bottles of beer were consumed in central Kashmir during the year.
More consumption has, however, earned the state more revenue in the three districts.
As per the figures shared by the government, the Revenue Department earned 55 per cent more revenue (about Rs 5.27 crore) from liquor sale in 2015-16 as compared Rs 3.38 crore in 2014-15.
In the whole state, liquor sale has fetched the department 20 per cent more money in 2015-16. In 2014-15, the state earned Rs 61.78 from liquor sale while it earned Rs 77.79 crore in 2015-16.
In comparison to Kashmir, liquor consumption in the excise ranges in Jammu region has not undergone any significant rise.
Scarcely-populated Ladakh region has the highest per capita liquor consumption in the state. More than 28 lakh bottles of liquor were consumed in the region in 2015-16.