After Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), it is now country liquor (CL) prices that might witness a hike. Thanks to country liquor manufacturers who are allegedly manipulating the manufacturing cost price figures bringing in less excise duty to the department and leaving less profit margins to the retailer too, who in turn demand huge sums of money from consumers.
Citing this as a concern on Tuesday, in the presence of State Excise minister Ganesh Naik and excise commissioner Sanjay Mukherjee and other stalwarts from the industry, an excise minister proposed a committee to look into the matter.
The CL manufacturers show lower manufacturing costs so they do not have to pay a huge excise duty, which is 200 times the cost of manufacturing.
According to a source from the state excise department, “The reviewing committee will study why the cost price is declared less. If it is found to be true they will have crores to claim. They will come up with a new formula which will do justice to all.”
Mohan Shetty, CL bar owner from Bhayandar who has been fighting to raise the prices said, “We are forced to sell CL at MRP which gives us no room to earn profit. Any bar that sells IMFL charges above MRP then why this injustice with us,” he said.
A manufacturer on condition of anonymity said, “It is an age old rule that a manufacturer can give any manufacturing cost, even one rupee. It is the government who needs to change the law. We are just following the law. Recently, the department filed many cases against retailers who were found charging more than the MRP, which created a problem for many as the age old, will bring no business to retailers. Soon we might see a change in the rule which will bring profit to all.”