Rajahmundry: Liquor trade turns unviable, traders resort to illegal mixing

Illegal practice is becoming rampant as the sales of low brand liquor keeps growing.

Rajahmundry: With the liquor trade becoming unviable and the state government failing to enhance the margin of profit, traders are resorting to the illegal practice of ‘brand mixing’ to overcome losses in the business in the state.

A section of traders are mixing low brand 180 ml liquor which costs about '50 with high brand liquor which costs about Rs 90 for 180 ml in some proportion so that they can sell low brand liquor at high prices to make extra money. This illegal practice is becoming rampant day-by-day as the quantum of sales of low brand liquor keeps growing.

The liquor traders maintain that their business was becoming unviable as they were supposed to pay licence fee one year in advance, hire a shop by paying exorbitant rents, engage workers by paying wages, set up a system to maintain accounts, clear transport, power bills and meet other expenditure.

Liquor trader K. Nageswara Rao said, “The excise authorities reduced the licence fee to seven per cent but they reduced margin of profit to 7.5% from the earlier 22%. Moreover, maintenance costs including enhanced rentals to liquor shops and others were causing additional burden resulting in the liquor trade becoming highly unviable.”

This apart, the number of excise offences including running of unauthorised liquor retail outlets, MRP violation, seizure of illicitly distilled liquor, destruction fermented jaggery wash and several others remain uncontrolled given the huge number of cases being detected almost every day.

Meanwhile, excise sources maintained that the functioning of the department had derailed in the last several months with no review meeting being held by the senior officials, while the number of excise offences kept increasing.

A senior excise official said, “The liquor trade is no longer profitable of late resulting in a section of traders resorting to the illegal practice of brand mixing and other excise offences.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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