While it hoped to earn more revenue through liquor sale, the Delhi government has collected only about Rs 235 crore, excluding the new ‘special corona fee’, between May 4 and 30.
The liquor sale was allowed in the city from May 4 — with the starting of lockdown 3. It was closed since the lockdown was imposed on March 25.
On the first day of sale, when the special cess was not imposed, liquor worth over Rs five crore was sold, as per the Excise Department data.
However, just a day after allowing the sale of liquor in the city, the Delhi government from May 5 imposed a ‘Special corona fee’ on the alcohol sale which was 70 per cent of the MRP.
Excluding the cess, on the second day, the sale was about Rs 4.4 crore, while on May 6 it was Rs 4.9 crore.
On May 8 and 9, the sale was for more than Rs 15 and 18 crore — highest per day sale in a day during the month, also excluding the cess.
Till May 30, the government sold liquor worth over Rs 234.54 crore and the ‘Special corona fee’ can be counted as about Rs 160 crore additional income.
There were two dry days — May 7 and 25, during the period.
In the Budget 2020-21, out of the government’s total expectation in the tax revenue, 14 per cent or Rs 6,300 crore was from the State Excise.
The new financial year started on April 1 and till May 3, no sale was done due to the lockdown due to coronavirus.
Four government corporations — Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation; Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation; Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited; and Delhi Consumer’s Cooperative Wholesale Store — control the sale of liquor with about 475 shops.
While the shops under the Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation have sold liquor worth Rs 86.5 crore; the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation sold it worth Rs 47.6 crore between May 4 and 30.
The shops under Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited and the Delhi Consumer’s Cooperative Wholesale Storesold liquor worth Rs 45.2 crore each during the same period.
The Private shops have sold liquor worth Rs 9.9 crore between May 23 and 30.
Owing to revenue losses due to the coronavirus lockdown, the Delhi government on May 31 said it has demanded Rs 5,000 crore from the Central government.
Delhi Finance Minister Manish Sisodia said the minimum monthly expenditure of the government is Rs 3,500 crore, including salaries and other official expenses.
“In the last two months, the tax collection was Rs 500 crore for each month. Rs 1,735 crore was collected from other sources. However, for two months, we need Rs 7,000 crore,” Sisodia said.
On May 3, reporting a revenue loss of about Rs 3,200 crore in April compared to the previous year, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said the lockdown is making it difficult for the government to pay salaries to its employees.