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Tamil Nadu on its way to becoming a liquor-free state

Business Standard 

J Jayalalithaa
J Jayalalithaa

The State Marketing Corporation (Tasmac) was instituted in 1983 to monopolise wholesale trade of India-made foreign liquor, so that it facilitated cost-effective excise duty collection.

In 1937, prohibition was introduced in Salem and then it was imposed in other parts of the states step by step. But in 1971, the DMK government, headed by M Karunanidhi, withdrew total prohibition. Today there are a little over 6,700 shops across the state and they have been a major source of revenue for the state government, especially to fund social welfare schemes and freebies offered by successive Dravidian governments.

Tasmac has occupied the forefront during the 2016 election campaign. Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK), Desiya Murpokku Dravida Kazhagam (DMDK) and Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), which have made claims to the chief ministership, had said the first set of papers they would sign is the file imposing complete prohibition. However, the ruling J Jayalithaa-led AIADMK had said that it would implement prohibition step by step.

Tamil Nadu on its way to becoming a liquor-free state
After returning to power for a successive term earlier this week, Jayalalithaa signed five files. The closure of 500 Tasmac shops initially was one among them. Most of the shops that face closure are located near temples and other places of worship, schools and residential areas. This closure would translate into a revenue loss of around Rs 2-3 crore a day. The government has also decided to reduce the timing of these shops by two hours. Currently Tasmac employs about 28,000 people.

Tamil Nadu on its way to becoming a liquor-free state

First Published: Mon, May 30 2016. 00:07 IST
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