The season is not looking up for beer-lovers in Delhi-NCR. First, the expired beer ruckus in the Capital and now enjoying a chilled pint at a nice bar in Gurgaon may cost you more than it did earlier. Due to factors including beer supply shortage and higher reserve price set by the Haryana government in this year’s auction of licenses to run liquor stores from INR 50 crore to INR 62.5 crore, the price of beer will see an increase ranging between 27% to 44%, so don’t plan that night out just yet.
Another reason for this price hike is brewers stopping credit to vendors in Gurgaon. And with the credit running dry, retailers are unable to re-stock on beer by paying in cash, therefore resulting in a beer shortage. “We have suffered losses in the last three months due to a shortage of beer in the city; we have paid hefty license fees and we are not making profits due to the short supply,” Sanjeev Mehta of Lake Forest Wine was quoted as saying.
Beer purchasers in Haryana will also be shelling out extra because in this state ‘MRP’ in beer, wines, and spirits stands for minimum retail price, not maximum retail price. Consequentially, retailers and even wholesalers have complete freedom to charge the consumer whatever they please and the consumer must pay. “We do not regulate the end price to the users,” said Sanjeev Kaushal, additional chief secretary (excise and taxation).
Moreover, according to CEO of The Beer Cafe chain and president, National Restaurant Association of India, though Haryana’s excise policy this year did not increase the license fee for restaurants and in fact reduced the value added tax on mild beer from 14% to 13.5%, retail vends have hiked the price of popular mild beer by 45%. This invariably means a change in menu prices as well.
So, how can you avoid that hole in your pocket and still enjoy hoppy hours? Get your fill from the Capital’s vends. And to be more vigilant about whether you’re being charged the right price (in Delhi), you can check the same by going on the Delhi excise webpage or mobile app and scanning the QR Code. You’re welcome!