Pune: The sale of premium Indian Made Foreign Liquor dropped nearly 25% after the state slashed the excise duty on imported alcohol by 50% in November last year, rough estimates from the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies revealed.
Liquor retailers claimed that the sales of imported liquor jumped six- to eight-fold in January, creating an uneven market for IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) manufacturers. Their sales dropped with tipplers shifting to “now-cheaper” imported alcohol, one of them said.
Deepak Roy, the chairman of the confederation, told TOI, “We see no logic in the state cutting the excise duty on imported liquor. The move is hurting IMFL manufacturers, who made huge investments in the production of Indian alcohol and building their brands. They are facing unfair competition now.”
A representative from the Pune District Wine Merchants’ Association said, “The sale of a top imported brand has shot up tremendously. Distributors would earlier supply around 200 cases of the brand to Pune market at a given time, which shot up to nearly 2,500 cases in December. The retail price of a 750ml bottle of this brand after the excise duty cut is Rs1,950, as against Rs3,050 in October last year.” He said the sale of some high-end domestic brands in the range of Rs1,300-2,700 per 750ml bottle has dropped by 60-70% of late.