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Lager on price high, grin & beer it

business Updated: Jul 27, 2010 00:30 IST
Atul Mathur
Atul Mathur
Hindustan Times
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The hot and muggy season may just be perfect for a swig of cold beer, but it’s the wallets that are feeling the chill. Two months after a hike of Rs 5-10, the cost of a beer bottle has gone up further by Rs 5-15.

Senior excise officials blame a ‘vend fee’ levied by the Delhi government on the sale of beer in the state early this month for the jacked-up prices.

Delhi government plans to earn an additional Rs 100 crore this year through hikes in excise and other levies.

A 650ml bottle of Kingfisher Premium — one of the most popular brands — that was available for Rs 40 in March now costs Rs 60.

But pub hoppers have less reason to worry. "The increase in purchase rate is minor. I don't think it is worthwhile to increase the retail price now," said Rajendra Kumar, president, Federation of Restaurant and Hotel Association of India.

Delhi, known more for its taste for whiskey, has seen a sharp increase in beer sale in recent years. In resto-bars and pubs, beer accounts for about 60 per cent of total sales. A record 1.83 million bottles and cans were sold in June this year.