Analysts expect further dip of 10%
Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (Tasmac), has lost 25 % revenue per day post the closure of liquor shops in state and national highways following a Supreme Court order.
In some places including Koyambedu, Choolaimedu, Vadapalani liquor was sold 20-30 % above maximum retail price (MRP) citing reasons that there will be a scarcity soon. On an average, the cash-cow of Tamil Nadu sells liquor worth ₹67 to ₹ 70 crore per day.
“Not everyone will travel to another liquor shop, far off, to buy. Most of the men who drink here are middle-class people and commuting a few kilometres more means an additional ₹10- ₹20. So they are ready to pay extra (above MRP) at the counters,” said a Tasmac employee, who wished anonymity.
Analysts who track the liquor industry in the State have indicated that in another 2-3 days, the revenues will further dip by another 10%. “This will also increase black market sales and spurious liquor will enter into the market,” he said.
On Monday, some liquor shops saw thin crowds. In some places, barricades were put up so that tipplers do not stand on the road and create havoc. “Since this shop is near the railway station, the crowd has been very high this evening. The barricades were put up as soon as the closure announcement came,” said a policeman who was on duty near the outlet on Canal Bank Road, Luz Corner. At this outlet, tipplers were climbing on each other and thrusting currency notes at the counter.
Over 10,000 Tasmac employees have not reported for duty in the last 24 hours. They are clueless and worried about their jobs. “When the government closed 500 shops in the second phase, they accommodated employees in other shops. Now we are more than 10,000 and we know there are no more vacancies to be filled. The educated people will get a government job, what about the others,” asked an employee who works at one of the outlets in Chennai.
D. Dhanasekaran, general secretary of the AITUC-affiliated Tamil Nadu Tasmac Employees’ Union, said, “We are going to request the government to provide alternative jobs for these employees in various government departments. We will be protesting this weekend to highlight our demands.”