In J&K, liquor revenue up by 50 percent since 2017

In J&K, liquor revenue up by 50 percent since 2017

Reason is GST, not increase in sales, officials explain

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir has seen a sharp increase in the excise revenue of liquor over the past two years. The revenue which stood at Rs 1,101.72 crore in 2015-17 rose to Rs 2,120.80 crore in 2017-19. Officials of the Excise and Taxation Department say this increase in revenue is not an indication of growing sale of liquor, but of benefits of GST (goods and services tax) brought to the state.
As per official records, the government collected Rs 531.38 crore of excise revenue in 2015-16 whereas it was Rs 570.33 crore in 2016-17. In the next two years, the government collected Rs 845.83 crore of revenue by excise in 2017-18 and Rs 1274.97 crore in 2018-19.
The records say that sales of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and beer registered a growth of 15 percent and 4 percent, respectively, over this four-year period.
However, officials say that the revenue has seen a steep increase due to rise in Maximum Retail Price (MRP) following the implementation of GST.
“The revenue always sees an increase every year due to effective monitoring and enforcement. But the steep rise for the last few years is due to the introduction of GST,” said Amarjeet Singh, Deputy Excise Commissioner, Jammu.
“Value Added Tax (VAT) also came under our department’s purview which led to a sharp increase in excise revenue in recent years,” he said.
Deputy Excise Commissioner Toll Post Lakhanpur, Ashish Kumar Gupta said the government had also increased the tax on production, import, and sale of liquor, which resulted in the Excise Department receiving more tax.
“The increase in the sale of liquor is nominal; there are other factors which led to the increase in excise revenue,” he said.
“The revenue generated between 2017 and 2019 is Rs 2,120.80 crore in the state, whereas this was just Rs 1,101.72 crore in 2015 to 2017,” the data on excise revenue says.
According to official sources, sale of liquor is going on unabated through illegally run shops and excise officials have registered more than 100 cases against such outlets, especially in Jammu division.