Madurai region in central Tamil Nadu recorded the highest share of the turnover, amounting to Rs. 98 Crores over the two days!
Tamil Nadu State Marketing Committee, popularly known as TASMAC, the company which manages the 5,300 strong liquor retail network across the state of Tamil Nadu reported a marginal decline in the pre- Deepavali sales on 2 & 3 Nov. 2021 to Rs. 435 Crores, compared to Rs. 467 Crores last year. It may be noted that during the same period in 2020, many of the TASMAC stores, which are managed by the State Government themselves, were shut due to the intermittent lockdown and closures and hence there could have been a possible pent-up demand ahead of the festival-holiday season. For the record, TASMAC has an estimated annual turnover of Rs. 33,811 Crores for the FY 2020, roughly translated to Rs.100 Crores on any given day on an average.
TASMAC also operates “Elite stores” across premium neighbourhoods and Malls where the entire product range is self serviceable for customers. There has always been an allegation by regular buyers at TASMAC stores (incl. Elite) that the prices are higher than the printed MRP but the consecutive Governments have not taken much heed towards the same. In fact, the entire Tender process to operate the TASMAC stores is tightly controlled by a clutch of Traders who also run attached Bars in some locations as well as standalone ones.
Tamil Nadu is perhaps the only State Government which directly manages the procurement and sale of alcohol in India, a move which was brought in over 2 decades back to control the production and sale of hooch, country liquor and alcohol smuggled from other states as well as from abroad. While the intentions have been purely to support the tipplers, the expansion of TASMAC stores have always been a bone of contention for citizens as well as the anti-vice squads. Despite public resistance, TASMAC shops (and Bars) operate within city limits as well as in the outskirts, though consumption and sale of liquor has been closely monitored by the State government during the ongoing pandemic period. Successive Chief Ministers have been unable to bring in prohibition or total abolition of sales of alcohol in the state, a contentious election manifesto always.
On the brighter side, TASMAC shops provide employment to over 18,000 people directly as well as several support systems including packaging, transportation, logistics among others.