Liquor makers including Radico Khaitan, Jagatjit Industries, Modi Distillery, Alcobrew Distilleries and Rock and Storm Distilleries have raised objections to the Delhi’s new excise policy recommendations prepared by an expert committee stating that the proposed conditions would lead to monopoly of large multi-national corporations and in turn bring in cartelisation and impact the state government’s revenues.
In separate representations to Delhi chief minister , the manufacturers opposed change in free pricing criteria besides raising red flag over the proposed change in registration of brands, which they claimed was “extremely unfair, one-sided and violative of principles of free competition”. The three-member committee formed by the Delhi government has suggested a steep increase in the criteria for liquor brands to get registered in Delhi.
The present qualifying criteria for getting registered in Delhi is a total sale of 60,000 cases of a brand anywhere in country, including Delhi, in any of the previous two years. The proposed excise policy increases it to a total of 10 lakh cases for a brand (including all its variants) outside Delhi. Further, the companies should also have a minimum sale of 1 lakh cases in at least five such states whose total liquor sale is more than that of Delhi in the previous year.
“The move will also lead to closure of retail shops as many companies would be unable to fulfill the licence criteria,” said a Delhi-based liquor manufacturer . MNCs, who mainly manufacture premium segment brands have only about 10 per cent market share in the present set-up at Delhi. “On one hand there is a renewed focus on Atmanirbhar Bharat and Vocal for Local, on the other hand this single step will disrupt 80-90 per cent of the current Indian-made foreign liquor market,” said another manufacturer.