Bars Make a Killing Through Preclosure Discount Sale
By Express News Service | Published: 25th August 2014 07:05 AM |
KOCHI: With only one day left for the closure of bars in the State, ‘stock clearance sale’ at discounted rates is in full swing at bars in and around the city.
Liquor is sold at prices around 10-30 per cent lower than those charged by the Beverages Corporation at its outlets. Though the government has offered to take back the stock, the bar owners are trying to make extra profit through the last-hour sale as the process of returning stock and getting refund is likely to take a long time.
Meanwhile, officials of the Excise Department conducted inspections at various bars where sale of liquor at discounted rates was taking place. Most of the bars have been stocking liquor worth crores of rupees. There have been allegations that low-quality liquor was being sold in the name of clearance sale. It is also alleged that the low-quality liquor being sold was manufactured by the bar-owners themselves, hence the reluctance in returning the stock to the Beverages Corporation. The Excise officials said that efforts were on to check whether the liquor sold at discounted rates was hooch. A supplier of a bar was arrested at Thammanam for selling liquor at prices lower than than that in Beverages Corporation outlets. The Excise Department also arraigned the bar owner as an accused in the case.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Excise P Jayaraj, the inspection was conducted on the basis of media reports. “Beer was being sold at Rs 50, which is much lesser than the rate at which beer is sold at Beverages Corporation outlets,” he said. “Since the sale of liquor at prices lower than the retail rate is violation of conditions of the FL(3) licence, the Excise Department will take steps to cancel the licence of the bar,” he said.
He said that the inspection would be intensified in the coming days. “It is understood that a number of bars in the State have resorted to ‘clearance sale’. However, many of them stopped the practice after the crackdown was launched,” Jayaraj added.