The Association of Distillers, Brewers and Vintners of India (ADBVI) and Kerala Bottlers Federation (KBF) have urged the government to increase the purchase cost of various foreign liquors to 15 per cent.
Fuel price hike apart from increase in packaging materials; transportation cost and labour charges have severely impacted the distilleries, which cater to the Kerala government. Despite repeated requests, the government has given only marginal increase in the purchase cost for the Kerala State Beverages Corporation, said Vijayakumar, president, KBF and Sushil Haksar, president, ADBVI.
“We contribute nearly Rs 7,000 crore to the Kerala government every year and as an industry we employ directly/indirectly thousands of unskilled, mostly women labourers. It was after repeated requests since 2010, the government in August 2012 agreed on a 6 per cent price increase. We have made several requests to the excise minister to increase the purchase cost to 15 per cent,” they told reporter.
The organisations have been supplying various brands to Kerala State Beverages for the past 27 years.
They said neighbouring states always provide inflation-bound price increases periodically.
The Andhra Pradesh government had given price increase of Rs 55 per case for the cheap segment, Rs 110 for medium and Rs 300 per case for the premium segment recently. Similarly, Karnataka gave Rs 40 increase across all slabs.
In all these states, they said, the cheapest liquor prices are much higher than in Kerala — Andhra Pradesh – Rs 414, Karnataka – Rs 414 and Tamil Nadu – Rs 477 — whereas here, the same is Rs 299. Besides, there is turnover tax of 10 per cent and a cash discount of 6.5 per cent in Kerala.