Despite being a dry state, Gujarat has earned a revenue of Rs 200 crore through the sale of liquor.
In the last three years there has been a significant increase in the sale of foreign liquor and beer in the state. In the fiscal year 2020-21, the revenue was Rs 51.84 crore, and it has increased to Rs 78.14 crore in the latest fiscal year 2022-23.
For those who are wondering how a dry state can openly flaunt revenue figures, the sales proceedings are of ‘legal’ liquor- liquor that is sold through permitted shops.
As of March 2023, there are 76 license holders for the sale of foreign liquor and beer, while there are 69 license holders for collection. Ahmedabad city has the highest number of both collection and sale license holders, with 19 each. Other cities and districts also have varying numbers of license holders.
The process for obtaining permits for the sale of alcohol involves active agents who expedite the approval process, especially in Civil Hospitals. Agents working in Civil Hospitals in Ahmedabad are known for their efficiency in obtaining permits. The agent’s fee for obtaining a single permit is around Rs 25,000.
Medical check-ups are required for permit approval, and agents play a crucial role in facilitating the quick processing of files. In hospitals like Civil, where permit approval work is conducted, there is a rapid increase in efficiency due to the agents’ involvement. Agents manage the entire process, including the arrangement of blood reports, making the approval process swift.
There are specific cases where permits are granted post medical check-ups. For individuals facing stress, sleep disturbances, or hypertension, a medical check-up followed by permit approval is necessary. Only those with the proper medical documentation are approved.
However, on the flip side, due to alcohol and drug addiction, there have been 216 suicides in the state in last three years. The National Crime Record Bureau says in 2018, there were 64 suicides, which rose to 75 in 2019, and 77 in 2020. The numbers highlight the impact of substance abuse on mental health.
In terms of alcohol consumption, approximately 33% of the Indian population consumes alcohol. The National Institute of Social Defense estimated that this percentage could rise to 40% by 2025.
Beer is the most preferred alcoholic beverage, with 63% of alcohol consumers choosing it, followed by 11% for wine and 10% for spirits. Additionally, 16% prefer other types of alcohol.
In the Indian market, Indian Made Indian Liquor (IMIL) and country liquor (Country Liquor) dominate with a 67% market share for IMIL and 14% for Country Liquor out of the total market value of Rs. 2.62 lakh crore. IMIL, known for its regional flavors, captures the market with flavored alcoholic drinks like flavored beers, masala-flavored spirits, etc.
Country liquor is more popular in rural areas and low-income groups due to its affordability. Overall, the alcohol market in India is diverse, with a significant contribution from regional and traditional alcoholic beverages.