Demonetisation: Currency crisis registers jump in 'desi daaru' sale

Updated: Nov 19, 2016, 06:48 IST | Vinay Dalvi

Everything else may be in disarray over demonetisation, but Indian brands of liquor are raking in the moolah with sales of Saunf, Santra, Tango Punch rising by 10 percent in last week alone

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Beer has seen a 30 percent drop in sales, while foreign liquor sales have dropped by 15 percent. FILE PIC

Everything else may be in disarray over demonetisation, but Indian brands of liquor are raking in the moolah with sales of Saunf, Santra, Doctor and Tango Punch rising by a good 10 percent in the past week alone. While the sales of beer have plunged 30 percent, those of India Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) brands have also dropped by 15 percent, figures obtained from the State Excise Department show.

"People have been saving money on everything, so business at beer bars and consumption of IMFL and beer has gone down. One requires at least Rs. 300 in one's pocket to drink at a beer bar, but Indian brands of liquor cost a fraction of that," said a senior official from the state excise department. A quarter (180 ml) of country made liquor costs around Rs. 40 to Rs. 50. India made Indian liquor (IMIL), which was earlier only popular in rural areas, is now in high demand in cities as well, the official said.

Maharashtra is already a 16 percent contributor to the all Indian Sales of IMIL, where per capita sales in the state are around 3 litres. The state has more than 2,000 IMIL shops. Companies like GM Breweries, IFB Agro Industries and Winsome Breweries are major players in the country made liquor segment.

Mostly sold under generic names such as Santra, Nimbu and Saunf, the alcholic content in IMIL ranges from 30 percent to 36 percent, which is lower than in IMFL that contains a uniform 42.8 percent.

"Earlier, there was a problem of the pungent smells in IMIL, which has now been taken care of. Also Tadi (Toddy or Palm wine) has been banned in the state, which has resulted in more sales of country made liquor," said the excise official.

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