For the first time in Jammu and Kashmir, the excise department has announced an auction for the annual allocation of liquor licenses.
The auction will begin at 9 am on April 15 and will end on April 18. The bidding time has been kept different for all the areas.
Bidding will be done on 15 April at Doda, Panchayat Assar, Kandhari Nala area of Kishtwar Excise Range which will end at 9 pm on 18 April. Similarly, on 15 April, this bid will start at 9.10 am in Alah of the village of Jammu South Excise Range and will end at 9.10 am on 18 April.
Like this bid in Jammu North Range Domana will start at 9.05 am and will end at 9.05 am on 18 April.
The bid will begin at 9.15 am in the Janj Bibar area of Panchayat Thakri in Doda-Kishtwar, the excise range and will end at 9.15 am on 18 April.
On the same day, the bid will be made at 9.15 am in the Main Market in the Panchayat of the Range built in Kathua district, which will end on April 18 at 9.15 am.
Bali will start at 9.20 am on April 15 and end at 9.20 am on April 18 in the Municipal Committee Ward 10 of the Village Gharota Range and Rajouri-Poonch Excise Range in Jammu North.
The bidding will begin at 9.25 am in the Badal Brahmana village of Jammu South Excise Range and at Nandpur in Chak Nazar Panchayat of Excise Range Samba and will end at 9.25 am on 18 April.
Bidding at Panchayat Khandod of Doda-Kishtwar Excise Range, Ban Panchayat of Prem Nagar and Kathua Excise Range and Srinagar Cantonment Board of Excise Range in Srinagar will start at 9.30 am on April 15 and end at 9.30 am on April 18.
Militants ban liquor in Kashmir
Since 1991, militant groups have declared a ban on liquor in Kashmir, while J&K is officially not a ‘dry region’.
Liquor vends were closed in Kashmir after the Allah Tigers, a militant outfit, issued a blanket ban on its sale and consumption soon after the eruption of militancy in the region.
In 2017, it was all due to threats of militant and separatist groups that the then PDP-BJP government was forced to review its decision of opening a ‘duty-paid’ liquor shop even at the Srinagar airport.
531.88 crore revenue from liquor sales in 2015-16
Official figures reveal that around 219718 lakh bottles of different types of liquor was sold in J&K in 2015-16. Around 169161 lakh bottles of liquor was sold in the state in 2014-15. In 2013-14, around 1,53,563 lakh bottles of liquor was sold in J&K.
Liquor sales is one of the biggest revenue generators for Jammu and Kashmir government. J&K excise department has realised Rs 531.88 crore revenue from liquor sales in 2015-16 compared to Rs 464.88 crore in 2014-15. In 2013-14, the department collected a revenue of Rs 439.04 crore from liquor sales in the state.
Though most of the liquor is consumed in the Jammu region, the Kashmir valley too has seen a surge in the liquor sale and consumption despite the ban imposed by the ultras.