Haryana Tourism Corporation gets into liquor sales as revenues tumble
The Haryana Tourism Corporation will run six liquor shops in Gurugram as a pilot project starting today. Officials said that it is the first time that a state government entity will be operating liquor vends in the district.
The decision was taken by the state government after the tourism department suffered huge losses due to closure of tourism complexes and guest houses during the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of Covid-19. During the lockdown period, the revenue receipt of the corporation was almost nil.
The Gurugram excise department had placed an advertisement on June 23 for auction of 78 liquor vends in 39 zones, following which the tourism corporation filed tenders and were allotted the three zones, excise officials said, adding that there are two liquor vends in a zone.
“The corporation was allotted six liquor vends in three zones after it followed the bidding process like others,” said H C Dahiya, deputy excise and taxation commissioner (DETC), Gurugram.
The six liquor shops which will be run by the tourism corporation are situated at Hero Honda Chowk, Bakhtawar Chowk and Atul Kataria Chowk.
Rajesh Joon, additional divisional manager of Haryana Tourism Corporation, said that they have entered the liquor business following the Delhi model. State agencies like Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) and Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC) operate liquor shops in the national capital.
“We decided to enter this field to curb the nuisance of the liquor mafia. Our shops will ensure the availability of genuine liquor to the customers at a fair price,” Joon said, adding that they have taken these liquor shops after placing a bid of nearly ₹11 crore.
The excise officials said DSIIDC held a considerable share of the market in retail sales of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL), beer, imported foreign liquor and country liquor since 1979, and this is the first time any government agency will operate liquor vends in Haryana.
Anurag Rastogi, principal secretary, excise and taxation, said it is a good initiative and will help the tourism corporation. By auctioning 284 liquor shops in Gurugram (the government had auctioned 206 stores in March) through e-tenders, the state earned nearly ₹800 crore, the excise officials said. The state excise department has set a target of ₹7,500 crore for 2020-21.