Since the new restriction has started in order to contain the spread of coronavirus, the liquor sales have started dropping over the past two days.
The order from the state chief secretary on May 1 restricted the hours for markets and stores selling non-essential items. According to the order, all liquor off-shops are supposed to remain open from 7am to 10am and then again, from 3pm to 5pm.
It in time, the liquor sales had already witnessed a 50% fall in sales in two days. The best timing for liquor trade would have been 10am to noon and then again, from 4pm to 6pm. So it was difficult for seller to sell the liquor.
According to a retailer the daily average sale of Rs 1.5 lakh-Rs 2 lakh at most establishments and now it had come down to Rs 50,000-Rs 75,000 a day. Many faces problem as employees come from faraway places, they had to arrange for a lot of employees’ accommodation to open the shop by even 8am.
Kolkata has 350 bars and more than 1,500 off-shops and country spirit shops; country spirit shops are allowed to sell IMFL. The total figure in Bengal is more than 7,000, taking bars and off-shops together.
In Bengal, 33.6 crore 750ml bottles of spirits, including whisky, rum, gin and vodka, and 11.2 crore 650ml bottles of beer are sold annually.