Prominent liquor manufacturers have alleged that orders for their brands have been stopped in Delhi. The Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) wrote to the managing director and CEO of the Delhi Tourism and Transport Development Corporation seeking an appointment to discuss the decision.
CIABC includes manufacturers such as Radico Khaitan Ltd, Allied Blender & Distillers Pvt Ltd, Jagatjit Industries Ltd, Mohan Meakin Ltd, AlcoBrew Distilleries Pvt Ltd, Modi Illva India Pvt ltd, Amrut Distilleries Pvt Ltd, India Glycols Ltd, Globus Spirits Ltd, Tilaknagar Industries Ltd, Devans Modern Breweries Ltd and Sula Vineyards Pvt Ltd.
“We have been informed that since early December, orders for supply for many brands of our member companies have been stopped. Inexplicably, only a select few brands have been categorised as ‘popular’ and orders for supply are being given for only these brands. It shall be pertinent to note that the current excise policy commenced on 1 September 2022 and it is unfair to categorise only a select few brands, within a very short period of time, as ‘popular’ and then stop orders without any intimation or notice to supplier companies. This has disrupted the business of supplier companies particularly in the ongoing peak festive season,” read the letter, written by Vinod Giri, director-general of the CIABC.
“We also wish to bring to your urgent notice that companies have paid full year fees, even for the truncated seven months period of the excise policy in force. You can very well appreciate that such an unexpected and arbitrary stoppage of orders for supply of brands of companies will make recovery of this fee very difficult. It is, therefore, humbly requested that orders for supply should be placed on the basis of the demand of products in the market and not a predetermined discriminatory list,” Giri wrote further.
The letter has also been sent to the excise and finance departments.
Decisions revolving around Delhi’s liquor policy over the past year and a half are now under the scrutiny of the CBI and the ED, following allegations of corruption.
In July, the Delhi government withdrew the 2021-22 excise policy after allegations of wrongdoing emerged. Even before the allegations emerged, the policy was faltering after several retailers decided to bow out claiming that late changes in the policy, including decisions based on where shops can be opened and how much discount they were allowed to offer, had hit them hard.
A new “caretaker” policy was then put in place and only the government was allowed to open liquor stores, pushing the private sector out entirely.
Since September, when the amended policy came into force, there have been complaints about the non-availability of many popular brands in Delhi liquor shops, pushing the customer to Gurgaon and Faridabad.