Thiruvananthapuram: The Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) has lost over Rs. 90 crore in 15 days after the closure of liquor outlets close to highways. The daily loss is estimated to be between Rs. six and eight crore. Bevco had told the government that survival would be difficult without its urgent intervention.
Bevco said in a report that consumption of liquor had not come down in the state.
Other states stood to benefit from the situation here, it said. The report said the shutting of shops near highways on March 31, as ordered by the Supreme Court, had plunged Bevco into a serious crisis. The corporation had a revenue of Rs. 566.36 crore in 15 days of April 2016. This year, it was Rs. 490.16 crore, the loss being Rs. 76.49 crore.
The report estimates that the loss could, in effect, cross Rs. 90 crore, considering the fact that liquor prices and taxes had gone up after that. Only 29 of the outlets near highways were shifted. Another 40 were moved out, but had to be closed down after protests from residents in the new locations. In many places it was the panchayats that forced such closure.
Consumerfed had shifted 17 out of its 29 liquor outlets. The loss had not been substantial. It, however, argues that since government wants liquor shops kept open, there should be strong intervention.