Rum and brandy rule Kerala's liquor market and together account for 94 percent of the sales of the Kerala State Beverages Corporation (KSBC) which is toasting record sales during the Left government's tenure.
Rum continues to be the most preferred liquor in Kerala, accounting for 55 percent of KSBC sales, followed by brandy with a close to 40 percent share. Vodka accounts for four percent and gin, whisky and wine account for the rest of the sales.
In the present state government's 52-month tenure, 708.20 lakh cases of liquor were sold as compared to the 513 lakh cases sold during the previous Congress-led government's tenure from 2001-06, an official said.
According to the figures provided by the KSBC, the sole wholesale suppliers of liquor and beer in the state, during the 52-month tenure of the Left government sales turnover of liquor and beer touched Rs.19,075 crore.
Speaking to IANS, N. Sankar Reddy, managing director of KSBC, said the total cumulative sales turnover of the KSBC since inception in 1984 till 2006 was Rs.18,100 crore.
'In terms of revenue contributed to the state exchequer by way of taxes, KSBC contributed Rs.14,922 crore in the 52 months of the Left rule as compared to the Rs.13,722 crore contributed in the 22 years from 1984 to 2006,' said Reddy.
In comparison, the KSBC's sales turnover during the previous Congress-led government (2001-06) was Rs.10,570 crore.
From 2001-06, the KSBC sold 513 lakh cases of liquor and 179.88 lakh cases of beer. In the present state government's tenure, 708.20 lakh cases of liquor and 291.43 lakh cases of beer have been sold.
'Rising revenue figure should not be linked to rising prices because in the past five years, the price of liquor went up once, around 3-6 percent, in the fiscal 2009-10,' said Reddy.
The revenue during the Onam week, ending Thiru Onam day Monday, also shot up by Rs.22 crore as compared to last year.
'This year the revenue was Rs.176.42 crore and last year it was Rs.154.39 crore,' said Reddy.