Liquor industry urges state governments to allow increase in prices
Alcohol prices are controlled by individual states.
“Unprecedented inflationary trends in raw material and services and transportation for alcoholic beverages in the past three to four months is seriously impacting commercial viability of the manufacturers,” CIABC director general Vinod Giri said in the letter.
Cost of glass bottles, extra neutral alcohol – a principal ingredient of liquor, caps, cartons, PET bottles and labels have increased 5-17% on average, it said.
ET has seen a copy of the letter.
The association has either sent or is in the process of sending it to the governments of Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, and Chhattisgarh among others.
Increase in prices is “being sought to cover up for costs only and not for other commercial gains”, it said.
Last year, which was fraught with nationwide lockdowns on account of the Covid-19 pandemic, impacted sales of IMFL (Indian made foreign liquor) products with overall sales declining 12% year on year to 305 million cases in 2020-21, according to data compiled by CIABC and released a few months back.
However, in the September quarter of this year, sales across spirits and beer increased to pre-pandemic numbers on the back of reopening of bars and restaurants.
During the complete lockdown months last year, even though the central government had permitted opening of shops to sell essentials, sale of alcoholic beverages had not been permitted, which led some states such as West Bengal and Chhattisgarh to allow online delivery of alcohol, which did not take off on account of steep delivery fee charged by aggregators and lack of clear guidelines.