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Bengal has fewer dry days as govt tries to boost revenue

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 15 October 2016, 21:55 IST

The cash-strapped West Bengal government has decided a novel way to increase revenue: the state excise department has decided to decrease the number of dry days from 12 days to 4 days in a year.

The decision has been taken in order to pay a huge debt of around Rs 3 lakh crore. An order to decrease the number of dry days has already been issued in August by the state excise department. This year, according to the latest data, Rs 4,698 crore has been collected from selling liquor already, compared to the final figure from last year which was Rs 3,921 crore.

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A push for revenue

Senior officials of the state government said that the target of increasing the revenue for this year has been achieved and that the plan for next year is to double the revenue by selling liquor. They also found that sales went up exponentially during the puja season.

It was also decided that in five-star hotels, the bar would be open on all the days.

The four dry days from now on are:

  • Republic Day
  • Independence Day
  • Gandhi Jayanti
  • Holi
Earlier, it included the above four, Ashtami, Nabami of Durga Puja, two days in Muharram, Id-ul Fitr, Id-Uz Joha and Mahabir Jayanti.

Happy retailers

All India Wine Producers Association has welcomed the decision of the state government, but Opposition parties are unhappy about the move.

Jamir Mollah, DYFI state secretary, said that the state government's does not want to go ahead in the education front, but they will try to splurge money on unnecessary things, thus disturbing the secular fabric of the state.

"Bengal has been projected as a state where people splurge money on booze. This has harped the image of the state. West Bengal has a rich cultural heritage and it should be preserved," added Mollah.

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First published: 15 October 2016, 21:55 IST