Facts of a Distt. Of India which has 61% population of families living below poverty line

As per administrative survey 2001/2002

Distt.Chamba of Himachal Pradesh is always in the lime light for its live and flamboyant history of more than 1500 years.

This time the liquor consumption statistics of district Chamba has once again made it an institution for the think tanks as it reveals some extraordinary facts. Giving a brisk glance to the statistics The district has a population of 5.20 lakh in which number of BPL families is 46,393. The per capita expenditure on the liquor is surprisingly Rs 1550. Liquor remains a lucrative commodity as the sale of the liquor through total 140 liquor vends of this distt. for the current fiscal year is projected to the tune of ` 80 crore. The sale through the six CSD canteens, illicit country liquor, and smuggled liquor is in addition to this figure. The Excise and Taxation department earned revenue from the excise duty on the sale of the liquor in the district for the year 2009-10 and 2010-11 as Rs25,31,46,879 and 30,46,09,016. This shows a tremendous hike of 22% from the last year. The estimated revenue collection from the excise duty on the sale in this year is more than 35 crore. It means that in this year the sale of the liquor will cross the `80 crore mark and per capita expenditure of the district on liquor will become `1550. In a small town Chowari, with a population of 3700 people the sale target is 2 crore. It means a per capita expenditure of whopping Rs. 5405 on the liquor only.

The Govt’s trust on the liquor consumer can be conceived perfectly by the fact that every year there is a hike of 15% to 20% in the sales target of Liquor. The records of last 10 years illustrate that the consumers have never disappointed the Govt ,they have always proved their capabilities and capacity and the Govt is successful in meeting yearly targets every time. In Indian democracy the hike in onion prize can change the Govt. Rise in the price of patrol by a few paisa creates rucks and controversies but the docile liquor consumer never criticize the govt for any price rise, just dedicated and committed for helping govt in the revenue generation.

Apart that another study shows that the expenditure incurred on the mobile recharge by the district people is too have an alarming figure . Last year they spent ` 3.5 crore on the mobile recharge of prepaid connections of Airtel, Tata, BSNL, Reliance etc. . Alone one of these mobile company did the bussiness of ` 1.5 crore on mobile recharge. This amount is in addition to the fixed line, WLL and postpaid connections. So only through mobile recharge and consuming liquor people of this Distt will spend Approx. Rs 120 crores in this fiscal year. It is also worth mention that a major geographical part of the district is not covered by the mobile network. It is interesting to know that people are not aware of the major poverty alleviation programs of the state government but they know everything about the different packs and schemes of the mobile companies like message pack.top up ,and power etc..

Assistant Excise & taxation Commissioner Chamba Ravinder Kumar confirmed that this year there is 22% hiked target of excice revenue collection as compared of last years Rs. 304609016.00.

Disributor of a leading Mobile company confirmed that in 2010 in Chamba company did the business of approx. Rs 1.5 crores.

Sanjay Kaushal is senior journalist from Himachal whose articles are covered by national and international dailies.

2 Comments

  • The article talks about only liquor/telecom targets rather than poverty pointers and stark contrast. What difference should a hike in petrol prices make in lives of 61% people living below poverty line.

  • Both consumption of liqour and expenditure on mobile have very much relevency in Chamba district. Chamba is the one of the backward district of Country.Road density is very low; accidents are frequent;people move to other areas for employment so the only way of getting in touch with your near and dears is mobile.
    Secondly Chamba is in cold zone so traditionally people living in cold areas have the tendency to consume liqour. Moreover people have limited scope for source of thier entertainment particularly in winter when mobility is resticted due to extreme cold.
    The figure of 61% familities living below need to be check up as 5.2 lakh population must be comprising more than a lakh families.

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