The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (Tasmac) has seen a significant increase in revenue for the 2022-23 financial year, with the government earning Rs 44,098.56 crore, compared to Rs 36,050.65 crore in the previous fiscal year.
The Minister for Electricity, Prohibition, and Excise, V Senthil Balaji, announced during the state assembly’s demands for grants that 500 retail liquor shops will be closed this year out of the total 5,329 shops run by Tasmac.
To enhance the safety of the remaining shops, the department has implemented measures such as installing CCTV in vulnerable shops and cash safes in retail liquor vending outlets, mainly in towns and panchayats. Additionally, the government has established 20 de-addiction centers to provide integrated treatment and rehabilitation services for those addicted to alcohol and drugs.
Furthermore, a financial grant of Rs 5 crore has been sanctioned to rehabilitate former prohibition offenders, who were involved in illicit liquor trade or preparation and sale of arrack, by creating a permanent income-generating profession such as sheep and milch animal breeding, agarbatti and camphor production, candle and paper cup manufacturing, and other similar small trades. The beneficiaries will receive a grant of up to Rs 30,000 each.
During the 2022-23 fiscal year, the government earned Rs 44.79 crore in revenue through a special fee on imported foreign liquor, while Tasmac earned Rs 12.23 lakh through service charges alone. Minister Balaji claimed that no deaths related to liquor occurred last year and announced a salary increase for 24,318 supervisors, salespersons, and assistant salespersons working in retail outlets.
Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss, the PMK leader who has been advocating for the closure of liquor shops in the state, took to Twitter to share the Tasmac revenue details, commenting that Tamil Nadu is growing, and questioning whether to feel amazed or disgusted at the figures.