Delhi govt's cheap liquor gives no high

Delhi govt's cheap liquor gives no high

Few takers for alternative to country-made spirits

A liquor brand launched by the Sheila Dikshit government with much fanfare two years back seems to have flopped. Delhi had become the first state in northern India to launch a liquor brand with the  aim to replace cheap country-made liquor that is  considered more harmful to health. 

Launched in 2012, Delhi Medium Liquor or DML is facing a steep decline in sales, and is not available at most country liquor shops. The price of the liquor was initially set at Rs 90 per quart, Rs 10 higher than country-made liquor. It was later revised to Rs 100 in 2013-14.

“The government had initiated the project to produce liquor with strict quality control to replace existing cheap liquor, at a very nominal price,” said a Delhi government official. The government’s plan was to ban cheap country liquor with the launch of DML.

However, two years after being introduced to the market, lack of advertisements and unavailability of DML left no effect on the sale of  regular country-made liquor.

Sources say the dealers are not interested in booking bulk orders of DML as their current stock has not been sold.

DML has not been advertised much by Delhi government as that requires more money. “The next govt. can take care of the project. Currently the project is going on but the production has not been increased,” the official added.

A majority of consumers of such cheap country-made liquor belong to lower socio-economic strata, and many are simply not aware of the existence of  the DML alternative.

“It’s true that name of the liquor is not known to buyers. The other cheap brands have fancy names which is one of the reasons behind the decline in DML’s sale,” the official.Country-made liquor available in Delhi often goes by names like `Angoori’ or `Santra’, indicating the flavour.

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