Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 1 (IANS): Alcohol sales in Kerala Monday reached a record single-day high to touch Rs.34.13 crore.
According to N. Sankar Reddy, managing director of Kerala State Beverages Corp (KSBC), the sole wholesaler of Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) and beer in the state, this was 49 percent more than what was sold on the first day of Onam festival last year.
"The pattern of sale is that the maximum sale is seen on the first Onam day, which is today (Tuesday), but as the first of the month is a dry day in Kerala, sales peaked yesterday," Reddy told IANS.
"Last year, on the first Onam day, we had sales of Rs.22.62 crore."
Thiru Onam, the most important day during the 10-day festival, falls Wednesday.
Reddy said only 17 shops sold liquor worth more than Rs.10 lakh the first Onam day last year, but Monday saw 85 shops crossing this figure.
"Our shop at Chalakudy (in Thrissur district) recorded the highest sale worth Rs.22 lakh, followed by the shop at Karunagapally (in Kollam district), with sales worth Rs.20.4 lakh," said Reddy.
There are 383 liquor and beer outlets in Kerala.
The 10-day Onam season saw sales of Rs.160 crore last year, and KSBC expects it to cross Rs.200 crore this time.
Last year, total sales in August stood at Rs.369.5 crore, which jumped to Rs.486 crore last month.
KSBC also saw a spurt in sales in the first four months this fiscal despite the economic downturn.
Sales soared to Rs.1,746.84 crore in April-July as compared to Rs.1,483.99 in the like period last year.
In quantity terms, IMFL sales went up to 63 lakh cases from 59 lakh cases in the corresponding period last fiscal, while beer sales increased to 25.6 lakh cases from 23.4 lakh cases.
KSBC's contribution to the state exchequer by way of taxes has jumped from Rs.1,163 crore to Rs.1,356 crore during the year-ago period.