THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The bar hotels in the state will stop the retail sale of liquor from Monday in protest against the Kerala State Beverages Corporation’s decision to increase the wholesale profit margin on sale of liquor provided to Consumerfed and bar hotels from the warehouses of the corporation.
Bevco has hiked the warehouse margin on sale of liquor to Consumerfed and bar hotels from 8% to 20% and 25%, respectively, for improving its financial position.
Though the warehouse margin was increased, the bar owners and Consumerfed are not allowed to hike the retail prices of liquor.
According to office-bearers of the Federation of Kerala Hotels Association, Bevco’s decision to hike the profit margin will adversely affect the bar owners as there would be a significant drop in their profit margins. It would be tough for them to run the show with such a low profit margin, they said. They have approached the state government, which has assured them that it would look into the issue.
The federation has decided to stop the sale of liquor from bars till the government takes a call on this matter.
Consumerfed, which has 39 liquor outlets in the state, has also communicated its displeasure to the government. Further, a portion of the profit margin generated from liquor sale is used for the distribution of food kits consisting of essential provisions by Consumerfed.
The corporation has no other means to improve its financial positions than hiking the wholesale profit margin on sale of liquor provided to Consumerfed, bar hotels and other licensees.
We have also ensured that the MRPs of liquor bands are not changed following the hike of the warehouse sale margin, said Yogesh Gupta, managing director of Bevco.