Migrant exodus hits liquor sales - ECAS Punjab

Migrant exodus hits liquor sales

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Aman Sood

Tribune News Service

Patiala, June 9

Contractors have recorded a dip in the sale of Punjab Medium Liquor (PML), a favourite among industrial and migrant workers.

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Liquor contractor

Sales have been hit in Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh, Amritsar and Jalandhar. At some vends, the liquor sale has come down from Rs 50,000 per day to Rs 5,000.

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Following the mass exodus of migrants, the PML sale in urban areas has taken a hit. Liquor contractors say sale has dipped by Rs 100 crore in the past two months, especially in urban areas.

"Sales have been hit in Ludhiana, Mandi Gobindgarh, Amritsar and Jalandhar. At some vends, the PML sale has come down from Rs 50,000 per day to Rs 5,000," said liquor contractors, who operate vends in many districts. "There is hardly any sale of premium brands near industrial towns, where labourers used to come in hordes to buy the PML," they said.

Liquor vend owners have been seeking waiver in licence fee. They said fee collection should be done on the basis of the actual liquor sales as against the fixed quota system. "We are yet to overcome the losses caused during the lockdown, when illegal liquor mafia minted money without paying any duty," they said.

"The labour season in Punjab is at its peak in June and July and the PML sales are dipping. Even marriage functions have been banned," they said.

A Venu Prasad, Principal Secretary (Excise and Taxation), said, "Liquor contractors have been facing losses in Ludhiana, Amritsar, Jalandhar and some other industrial hubs, where migrants have gone back to their hometowns. However, there is no plan to compensate the contractors as of now," he told The Tribune.



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