TASMAC shops across the city were spots of tussle through Thursday, as beer prices were raised by up to Rs 5 per bottle. Not the increase itself, but the reason cited for the price hike was what left tipplers in a fix. A press release from TASMAC said beer prices were being rounded off to the closest higher 10, as there was a “shortage of change.”
The inability of TASMAC storekeepers to cough up Rs 5 notes and coins was the reason beer was being sold at prices above the maximum retail price, the release said. It went on to reason that the existing seven different MRP categories were causing confusion to customers and that the new structure, with four different MRP categories, would prove easier to remember.
The MRP categories, which were previously Rs 65, Rs 70, Rs 75, Rs 80, Rs 85, Rs 90 and Rs 95, have now been revised to Rs 70, Rs 80, Rs 90 and Rs 100. However, the brunt of the increase was not quite borne by the customers as some would have it believed, but by the TASMAC employees manning the shops.
“We have been getting screamed at all day. It is not our fault that the rates have been increased. We are even being blamed for the beer not being cold. What can we do when the freezers don’t work? One thing is, the hike will make it easier for us to dispense change,” said the employee of a TASMAC store in Thiruvanmiyur, who did not want to be named. The tipplers, on the other hand, were in no mood for any of this. “If they don’t have change, ask them not to sell beer to us till we bring them change. This is absurd,” rued one man.