Shillong, March 17: Meghalaya's revenue generated from liquor shrunk following closure of shops and bars in compliance with the Supreme Court order.
To a query in the Assembly by Opposition MLA of the United Democratic Party Jemino Mawthoh, state excise minister Zenith Sangma said the total excise revenues collected during 2013-2014, 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, were over Rs 162 crore, Rs 151 crore, and Rs 170 crore, respectively.
Prior to compliance of the top court order and amendment of the Meghalaya excise rules on establishing liquor shops on highways and places close to the places of worships, hospitals and educational institutions, there were 581 IMFL licences issued, but at present, there are only 296 licences across the state.
On the shortfall of revenue during the current year, Zenith said up to January, Rs 127 crore revenue was collected. He added that the policy of the state government regarding opening and running of liquor shops and bars is according to the provisions of the Meghalaya Excise Act, Meghalaya excise rules and in compliance with the orders of the Supreme Court.
To another query from Mawthoh, the minister said the government has a plan to legalise country-made liquor in the state.