According to statistics released by the state excise department in Pune, revenue collection in terms of percentage growth over the last financial year (2007-08) for alcohol has gone down to 9% from 14%. Similarly, the sale of wine has recorded 19.52% growth — from 3.55 lakh litres in 2007-08 to 4.24 lakh litres in 2008-09. Yet, the growth pales in comparison to the 52% registered last year over the 2.34 lakh litres wine sale in 2006-07.
There’s no question that the Indian wine story is losing its luster thanks to the global economic crisis.
State excise superintendent Vijay Chinchalkar said that the slowdown in the hospitality and tourism sectors, besides the mainstream IT and manufacturing industry, has dealt a blow to liquor sales, particularly in the last quarter (Jan to Mar) of the financial year.
Country liquor sales recorded a 1.74% growth, from 1.89 crore litres last year to 1.92 crore litre this year, while the Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) grew in sales by 12.42%, from 1.79 crore litres last year to 2.02 crore litres this year.
“We expect IMFL sales to go up by 20% this year, considering the department’s experience that the official sale of liquor goes up during the months of elections. We have the state assembly polls in the second half of the year apart from the Lok Sabha polls,” he said.
The sale of beer went up by 15.96%, from 2.55 crore litre last year to 2.94 crore litre this year. Referring to the last quarter sales this year, Chinchalkar said, “Country liquor sales went down by 6% over the corresponding period last year, while IMFL dropped by 3%. Similarly, sales of wine and beer recorded 2% and 1% drop, respectively.”
Pune is the eighth largest city in India, and the second largest in the state of Maharashtra, after Mumbai. The population of Pune urban agglomeration is 3,529,900.
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