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Booze price hike takes the spirit out of tipplers 

Economists say the move is an attempt to make up for the shortfall in State revenue

Published: 08th February 2020 05:41 AM  |   Last Updated: 08th February 2020 05:41 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: If the start to the year was not bad enough, with the raging bushfire in Australia killing millions of animals and the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus, more was in store, this time for the tipplers of Tamil Nadu. Now ‘drinking to drown your sorrows’ becomes a costly affair after the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation Limited (TASMAC) hiked prices starting Friday.  

“Even domestic liquor prices have increased. But over the last few years, the prices have been increased repeatedly,” rued K Sandeep, a 26-year-old techie. He added, “Usually, I have a monthly alcohol budget. Looks like I have to boost it now or ask my friends from outside Tamil Nadu to buy me when they come,” he said. D Deboarah, a biweekly consumer said, “Bars in the city usually sell beer at thrice the price. So a Rs 10 increase in price means at least Rs 30 plus tax increase at bars.” She said since women are not very comfortable buying from smaller TASMAC outlets, they prefer going to bars even if it is expensive.

The latest hike comes five years after the last one. Indian Made Foreign Spirits (IMFS) would also now cost `10 more than the existing price per quarter bottle, that is, 180 ml. The hike in price of IMFS comes after over two years since it was last hiked in October 2017. While TASMAC MD R Kirlosh Kumar did not respond to Express’s questions on what prompted the sudden price hike, economists say the move was an attempt to make up for the shortfall in revenue. The hike is expected bring additional revenue of Rs 2,000 to Rs 2,250 crore.



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