Hike in liquor prices has no effect on boozers

Rising graph

Hike or no hike, price is not a reason for boozers to buy a drink or even knock back with their friends. Following the recent budget, when excise duty was increased from eight per cent to 26 per cent, there has been a substantial rise in the retail price of liquor, depending on the brand.

According to the statistics available with the office of the deputy commissioner, excise, in the district, though the sales of liquor saw a dip in the month of August (the period when new rates were effected), it was by a meagre 15 per cent compared to the previous year.

In August, a total of 1.82 lakh cases (73 per cent) of Indian Made Liquor (IML) were sold against 2.14 lakh cases (88 per cent) during the corresponding period last year.

During September, 2.31 lakh cases (91 per cent) were sold against 2.11 lakh during the same month the previous year. It is anticipated that the sales graph in the ongoing month, October, may have seen a surge, with Dasara bringing people in hordes to the city, sources told Deccan Herald.

Though there was a decrease in the sales in the initial month of implementation of the new rates, it is attributed to the burgeoning sales from retailers and wholesalers in the month of July for old rate to save some bucks. It is evident with the sales of 2.61 lakh cases (113 pc) during July, exceeding the target of 2.31 lakh cases.

In the current fiscal, up to the month of September, 13.15 lakh cases (90 per cent) have been sold against the set target of 14.54 lakh cases.

In Mysore district, there are 484 licence holders with a majority of 181 wine stores and 110 bar and restaurants.

Another development is an increase in the number of customers at wine stores, having a teetering effect on bar and restaurants, owing to the pinching new rates. A bar owner told Deccan Herald, earlier, for binge drinkers, it was the perfect place to party.

Apart from gulping liquor, they had hors d’ oeuvre of their choice to keep the party going. Now, the revision in rates of food items, coupled with that of liquor, has forced them to prefer wine stores, albeit with no comfort for a drink. One may not have food of one’s choice, but, at least, puffed rice and munchies for free, unlimited, is guaranteed at wine stores.

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