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After liquor shops were re-opened in Karnataka on Monday in COVID-19 lockdown 3.0, the state’s revenue department made a record collection of Rs 45 crore in few hours. Over 1,500 liquor shops across the state sold an estimate 3.9 lakh litres of beer and eight lakh litres of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) on Monday. Some men consumed so much liquor that they fell on the road lying. However, it has been said that the sale must have been higher as some transactions might have also taken place in cash.
Officials said the department usually registers the sale of liquor worth Rs 65 crore per day. However, considering that only two license holders (take-away outlets and Mysore Sales International Limited – MSIL) were allowed to function and more than 10 other license holders, including pubs, clubs and restaurants were closed, the liquor sale on Monday appeared to be a record business.
The State Excise Department has permitted retail liquor outlets, the Karnataka State Beverage Corporations Limited (KSBCL) and MSIL depots to sell liquor outside containment zones from 9 am to 7 pm starting May 4. As per retailers, most of the buyers chose to buy hard liquor over beer as it can be stocked up for a longer time and also because the intoxication level is high.