The Supreme Court verdict banning liquor outlets on highways has hit the state-run Kerala State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) hard. The corporation claimed a loss to the tune of Rs.500 crore in just 19 days and warned that it will have to close down if the government failed to intervene.

 

The Bevco, one of the biggest contributor to the state's exchequer, had warned earlier that the SC verdict would incur a loss of Rs. 5,000 crore annually.

The Bevco MD H Venkitesh submitted a letter to Excise Minister seeking immediate intervention to save the corporation from the crisis. The corporation is facing an imminent closure, the MD warned. The daily dip in revenue is up to 10 crore.
 

Related: Hartal, local protests mar relocation of liquor shops in Kerala
 

Out of a total of 270 Bevco outlets, only 146 are functioning now. Though the corporation had identified 60 locations to shift the outlets that were closed down to comply with the SC order, the new outlets could not start operation, thanks to local protests. The Bevco MD urged the government to take steps for smooth relocation of liquor outlets. 

 

 As many as 1973 liquor outlets, including 11 five star bars, were downed shutters in the state after the SC ban. The state Finance Department estimated the cumulative revenue loss from the closure of liquor shops could go up to Rs.4000 crores. The state was expecting Rs.8, 000 crores from liquor sales this financial year.