Bengaluru: As soon as the week-long lockdown was announced by Karnataka chief minister BS Yediyurappa, citizens made a beeline for liquor stores to stock up for a week and this led to double sales.

Excise department officials said they have registered record sales on July 13 and 14, ever since the lockdown was lifted.

The department reported a sale of 4.89 lakh cases of IML to the tune of Rs 215.55 crore and 0.83 lakh cases of beer worth Rs 14.83 crore.

On July 14, till 5 pm, it reported sale of 3,88,478 cartons to the tune of Rs 167.20 crore of IML and 68,653 cartons of beer costing Rs 12.22 crore.

This is twice as much as normal sales, officials in the Excise department said.

"The overall increase in sales across the state, seems to have been driven by the rush in Bengaluru to stock up liquor ahead of the lockdown. Bengaluru alone accounts for about 25-30% of the total sales," a senior official in the department added.

“Though soon after the lockdown was lifted, the rush was high, especially during weekends, but the sales have not shown an increase, which was normally reported from the department. Ever since the lockdown there has been a dip in 31.7% sale in IML and 41% in beer. The total sales registered by the department till July 13 has been 21.15 lakh carton boxes of IML (Rs 873.58 crore) and 5.14 lakh carton boxes of beer (89.97 crore),” an excise official said.

According to records, this year from April till July 13, 121.84 lakh carton boxes IML has been sold and 38.97 lakh carton boxes beer, while last year, in the same duration, the sales were 169.10 lakh carton boxes of IML and 95.20 lakh carton boxes of beer.

Soon after the lockdown was lifted on May 4, the state had recorded a sale of Rs 45 crore. The excise department had then termed it as a bumper sale as they had expected to earn the state exchequer Rs 25 crore, but the sale was 40% more than expected.