Ranchi: The Jharkhand government started selling liquor from Tuesday from the 210 shops it has opened in the state and hopes to almost double excise duty collections to Rs 1,500 crore per annum from the existing Rs 800 crore -- and also curb illegal liquor sales.
The number of outlets will be gradually increased.
Till July 31, 1,400 licensed shops, allotted through auctions, were selling liquor in the state. These have now been shut.
"From August 1, Jharkhand State Beverage Corporation Ltd (JSBCL) has started selling liquor. In the first phase, liquor will be sold at 210 shops," said Avinash Kumar, Secretary of the state Excise Department.
The liquor shops will remain open from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the urban areas and from 12 pm. to 8 p.m. in the rural areas.
An individual can only buy only three litres of liquor and 5.2 litres of beer at a time.
Of the 210 shops, 60 have been opened in East Singhbhum and 32 in state capital Ranchi.