Senior department officials said the earnings had been at par with the 2022-23 fiscal when the department collected Rs 6,821 crore by selling more than 62 crore liquor bottles. The amount included Rs 5,548.48 crore as excise duty and Rs 1,272.52 crore as VAT.
With more liquor shops being added by four government corporations and new hotels and restaurants taking excise licence to serve alcohol, officials said the revenue was expected to go up in the rest of the financial year.
“During summers, beer, which attracts comparatively lesser excise duty, sells more than spirits. That is why the revenue collection in the first half is always relatively less compared with the second half of the financial year when whiskey sells more,” said an official.
The four Delhi government corporations – Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation and Delhi Consumers’ Cooperative Wholesale Stores – together run 574 liquor shops while more than 930 hotels, clubs and restaurants serve liquor in the city.
Delhi government in its 2023-24 budget has estimated a total state excise collection of Rs 7,365 crore, nearly 14% of Rs 53,565 crore of tax revenue, in the financial year.
A senior excise department official said that under the excise policy, which is also referred to as the old excise regime, the government gets more revenue even if the sale is relatively lower. However, in the now-withdrawn policy, the government’s revenue was fixed even if the sales increased exponentially due to various schemes and discounts. “That’s why the sales might have dipped in the last quarter of 2022-23, but the actual revenue was still higher. Since we are continuing with the same policy now, we expect more sales and better revenues in the coming months,” said an official.
Officials said several steps were being taken by the government to ensure better experience for customers, resulting in higher sales and more revenue for the excise department. “Our focus earlier was on increasing the number of outlets. Now, when we have a stable network of liquor shops, efforts are being made to give a better retail experience to customers. We are trying to make the shops more customer friendly and increase brand availability,” said another official.
“The corporations have already started increasing the size of their shops to keep bigger stocks of more brands. There is a conscious effort to check brand pushing too,” the official added.