Beer Sales in Maharashtra Fell By 62.5% During the Lockdown

Beer Sales in Maharashtra Fell By 62.5% During the Lockdown

As per officials from the Maharashtra Excise Department, sales of beer in Maharashtra fell 62.5% per day in October as compared to the period prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Data provided by the officials reveals that beer sales were at 3 lakh litres per day in October down from 8 lakh litres in January this year.

Though one would expect beer sales to skyrocket when purchase restrictions were lifted, officials say that people are sceptical about chilled products like beer owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

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State Excise Commissioner, Kantilal Umap said - “Due to Covid-19, people are being asked not to consume cold products. This has played a huge role in people avoiding cold beer, impacting its sale.”

Officials said that the sale of other liquors was not heavily impacted during the same timeframe. Country liquor sales reportedly stood at 9 lakh litres per day while the figure was at 10 lakh litres per day prior to COVID-19 lockdown. 

Further, sales of vodka, rum and whiskey are said to be at 6 lakh litres per day which is nearly identical to the figures from before the pandemic. A total of INR 35 crores were generated from alcohol sales while the average figure stands between INR 38-40 crores.

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Arvind Miskin, President of the Association of Progressive Retail Liquor Vendors said, “Beer is the leading selling item in wine shops. However, sales have fallen in the past six months ever since liquor shops opened in May. Our customers are avoiding chilled beer as it can lead to developing a cold, one of the symptoms of Covid-19.”

The State Government generates thousands of crores in the form of excise duty from liquor sales in the state. Though the state barred liquor sales in the region during the COVID-19 lockdown in March, the government reopened liquor stores in May leading to long lines and very little social distancing as people flocked to buy liquor. The government has reportedly accrued ₹6,024 crores in the form of excise duties between April 1 to October 23, 2020. 

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