It’s a double whammy for the middle class and poor, who enjoy their evening drink. Not only the prices of essential commodities, but even liquor has gone up significantly.
The Excise Department of Delhi government has increased the prices of most of the popular brands of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) with immediate effect. In most cases, the price hike has been between 5 and 20 per cent.“I was shocked to see the increased price effective from Wednesday when I went to purchase a cheap brand of whiskey,” said Ramesh Lal, an auto rickshaw driver in the city. He used to buy a pint of cheap liquor for Rs. 25 earlier. He had to pay Rs. 30 for the same liquor. In fact, the poor consumers have been hardest hit in the price hike. A bottle of cheap liquor, which used to cost Rs. 90 now costs Rs. 100 while a half, priced at Rs. 45 earlier now costs Rs. 50.
An Excise official said the prices have been increased due to general inflation all around and persistent demand of the liquor companies. “Prices of liquor are cheapest in Delhi as compared to the neighbouring state. It won’t affect anyone as it is not an essential commodity,” said a senior official of the department.
In the new financial year, beginning April 1, the Excise Department clears the name of the brands, which are to be sold in the year through the vends located in the city. “We have received the new rate list for a lot of brands. Some of the brands would be cleared in the next few days and the new rates would come to us only then,” said a shop assistant of Delhi Tourism in Connaught Place.
The only piece of good news is that the price of Beer has not been increased yet. “The new rate list of some of the Beer brands has been sent to us and the prices has not been increased,” so far said the shop assistant.
Ironically, the price of Imported Foreign Liquor (IFL) too is being increased. In this segment, the price increase is between 10 to 30 per cent depending on the brand. The Excise Department is yet to calculate the revenue generated by the hike in the price. According to tentative estimates, the department aims to earn Rs. 1,100 crore in this financial year.