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Party spirit picks up in city,liquor sale records a high

The economic downturn seems history,with Delhi donning the party hat once again and hitting its watering holes with a vengeance.

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi |
December 31, 2009 4:38:23 am

The economic downturn seems history,with Delhi donning the party hat once again and hitting its watering holes with a vengeance. The government has earned Rs 160 crore from liquor sales this December,a Rs 40-crore increase from December last year.

“This year,Delhi has recorded a steady increase in excise revenue,which is 13.2 per cent higher than last year. Entertainment tax is also slowly picking up,” Delhi Finance Minister A K Walia said.

Last December,Delhi earned Rs 128 crore from liquor sales. As party hoppers preferred to stay home,revenue collection from liquor sales in hotels and clubs plummeted by Rs 2 crore.

November this year saw liquor sales picking up,with the government earning a whopping Rs 135 crore. According to the Excise department,Indian Made Foreign Liquor still tops sales figures,with whisky selling the most. Imported liquor is still lagging behind.

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The party circuit is,meanwhile,also getting hotter this winter. “We have received more applications seeking permission to organise parties this year. We expect an increase in revenue collection by over 30 per cent as entertainment tax. But the exact collection will depend on how many tickets are sold,” a senior Excise official said.

In this month itself,a 11-per cent increase has been reported in entertainment tax as compared to December 2008.

The Excise department,meanwhile,have sent notices to 26 hotels for organising parties without permission. “These hotels and clubs have been widely advertising their new year’s eve party,though they have not informed us about the same,” the official added.

The entertainment tax is levied on 15 per cent of the ticket costs. Last year,celebrations had been dulled by the November 26 Mumbai tragedy. Heightened security concerns meant very few parties were organised and even those had very low attendance.

“We were able to earn only Rs 25 lakh as entertainment tax on December 31 last year,” added the officer.

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