Get ready for beer shortage in Bengaluru this summer; elections, mafia to blame

This, the vendors say, might force some shops to go without beer — the most consumed alcoholic beverage in summer.

Published: 14th March 2019 08:14 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th March 2019 08:14 AM   |  A+A-

Liquor

For representational purposes (Express Illustrations)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The model code of conduct in place ahead of the upcoming elections is expected to put a strain on liquor sales — especially beer — in the scorching summer that’s around the corner. Vendors feel this is associated with regulation in the sale of liquor during election season, along with the mafia that is trying to control the beer sales.

This, the vendors say, might force some shops to go without beer — the most consumed alcoholic beverage in summer.

Vikram Jagadish, owner of an MRP outlet on St Mark’s Road, told TNIE the model code of conduct in place has resulted in a ‘kind of shortage’. “The cases of beer and other liquor that we can pick up has been limited,” he said. This works against the vendors.

“In summer, beer sales almost double, which could be affected due to the model code of conduct. Some of the popular brands are often not on shelves,” he said.

Govindaraj Hegde, general secretary, Federation of Wine Merchants’ Association, said apart from code of conduct, vested interests were also behind the ‘artificial scarcity’.  

Shortage in beer supply and some other liquors is being noted in 20 of the 30 districts. While the scarcity a few months ago was due to the ‘oral instructions’ of the state government to increase the sale of Indian Made Liquor, the issue today is due to selective allocation of beer units to some mafia groups, he said.
Due to this, owners of some MRP outlets are forced to trade some items that could be easily allocated in the excise depot with other stores, he said.

Excise department sources, however, said sale of liquor dips during polls. “For instance, alcohol cannot be sold for a few days during elections, which hurts department revenue. This was witnessed during previous polls too,” he said.

None of the commissioners or additional commissioners of the excise department were available for comment.



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