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IMFL disappears from vends in Punjab Non-Availability Of Popular Brands Causing Dent On Hospitality Industry Revenue

April 18, 2019 06:51 AM

COURTESY TIMES OF INDIA APRIL 18

IMFL disappears from vends in Punjab
Non-Availability Of Popular Brands Causing Dent On Hospitality Industry Revenue
Vinod.Kumar3@timesgroup.com

Chandigarh:

Non-availability of large number of popular brands of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) at majority of retail liquor shops has forced consumers to return empty handed from liquor shops across Punjab.


The situation arose due to delay on part of the excise department in approving labels even after the new excise policy came into force earlier this month. There are 5,750 retail liquor shops in the state. As per the norms, liquor cannot be sold until label of a brand is approved. Delay in according approval to labels has become commonplace in the past few years.

Labels are the stickers which contain information about name and address of the distillery where the product is manufactured. It also provides information about the type of liquor, its quantity, strength in degrees of proof, batch number, date of manufacturing and MRP.

Bhatinda-based liquor trader, Harish Kumar, who runs shops in five districts of the state, said many popular brands like Blenders’ Pride, Signature, Royal Stag and Smirnoff are not available. He further said that the non-availability is hurting the business. The liquor traders are forced to survive on whatever little was left with them previous year.

Gaurav Jain, who has liquor vends in Mohali, Zirakpur and Kharar, said traders were losing out on revenue. “We don’t have much to sell as most of the popular brands of IMFL and beer are not available,” he said.

The non-availability of popular brands is also causing a dent on revenue of hospitality industry. Unlike in other states where hotels purchase liquor from wholesalers, in Punjab liquor can only be purchased from liquor vends on retail rates.

Hotel, Restaurant and Resort Association (HRRA), Punjab president Satish Arora said they have been assured by the authorities that all brands will be made available in next 10 to 15 days.

Punjab excise and taxation commissioner Vivek Partap Singh was not available for comments, despite many attempts to reach him.

In the current excise policy, the government had announced to give extension to liquor traders who will generate 12% excess revenue over the fixed minimum guaranteed revenue, during the 2019-20 financial year . “We will not be able to achieve the target if all brands are not made available in time,” said Harish Kumar.

 

 
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