The Karnataka department of excise is targeting a growth of 23 per cent in its excise revenues, to Rs 8,500 crore, for 2010-11, compared to the previous year. A majority of the revenues are expected to come from the sale of Indian made liquor (IML).

“The sale of IML has increased in the last couple of years after the state banned the sale of country liquor like arrack and toddy. We are taking some stringent measures to curb the sale of illicit liquor in the state,” Renukacharya, minister for excise, said. Presently, there are 7,500 liquor shops operating in the state.

Speaking to reporters after reviewing the progress of his department, here on Tuesday, he said the state is targeting Rs 1,000 crore in revenues from other sources like licence fee renewal, industrial alcohol among others. During 2009-10, the department saw a growth of 19 per cent in the excise collections, to touch Rs 6,900 crore, he said.

The sale of IML has risen 30 per cent to Rs 5,797 crore and beer sales have jumped 9.3 per cent to Rs 489 crore. In volume terms, the state witnessed a 12.3 per cent rise, to 36.57 million cases. The beer sales went up to 1.90 million cases, showing a growth of 52 per cent over the previous year.

During the first two months of the present year, the department of excise earned Rs 1,237 crore in revenues as against Rs 1,011 crore during the same period last year, showing a growth of 22.3 per cent.

Arvind Jannu, commissioner for excise, said the department has not issued any licence for wine shops in the state since 1992, but is allowing the state-owned Mysore Sales International Ltd to open liquor shops across the state. So far, 78 such shops have opened throughout the state and another 385 shops are set to come up, he said.

During 2009-10, the department booked 11,086 offences and arrested 4,245 persons engaged in the sale of illicit liquor. It also seized 196,000 litres of IML and 140,000 litres of spirits besides 80,000 litres of illicit liquor. It collected a fine of Rs 6.1 crore from these cases, he added.

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