Site icon JK Newsline

J&K residents consumed 2.46 crore bottles of Desi Whisky and only 90 lakh beer

Even as the government of Jammu and Kashmir has decided to allow sale of beer at departmental stores, the first choice of people of the Union Territory for years has remained as Desi Whisky, a country made liquor.

On October 10 the J&K government approved the proposal for authorizing departmental stores to sell beer and other Ready to Drink (RTD) beverages in urban areas after grant of license JKEL-2A to the stores willing for the sale and fulfilling required conditions.

As per the official figures of Excise Department, a total of 2.46 crore bottles of JK Desi Whisky were sold in year 2021-22 against 90.61 lakh bottles of beer. 1.29 crore bottles of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) were also sold during the year.

The sale of JK Desi Whisky was down to 2.25 crore bottles in year 2020-21 apparently due to the outbreak of Covid-19 when markets remained closed for long and opened with restrictions. The sale of beer during the year was only 64.58 lakh bottles and 1.22 crore bottles of IMFL were sold.

However 2.64 crore bottles of JK Desi Whisky were sold in year 2019-20 against 1.46 crore bottles of beer and 1.63 crore bottles of IMFL. JK Desi Whisky had broken all records in year 2017-18 when sale of 2.82 crore bottles was recorded in J&K. The sale of beer bottles during the year was 1.61 crore and IMFL was 1.43 crore.

As per the order by the government, the departmental stores in a commercial complex, approved by the competent authority, fulfilling conditions like having total carpet area of minimum 1200 sq feet, annual turnover of minimum 5 crores in Jammu and Srinagar cities and Rs 2 crore for stores in other urban areas will be eligible to keep beer and other RTD.

Many political and some religious organizations have termed the order by the government as the cultural infringement.

What is worrying political and social organization is the fact that the government has also approved permission to the J&K Tourism Development Corporation for retail sale of beer in unserved and underserved areas including Kashmir region, a predominantly Muslim society.

Congress, National Conference (NC), Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) among other opposition parties have already expressed their dissatisfaction over the issue.

A liquor vend owner who did not want to be named said that mostly women who wish to consume beer shy away from standing at liquor vends. “They and other people can now easily get beer at departmental stores in posh localities without any hassle” said the owner.

Exit mobile version