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Swig it with a pinch in your pocket

Want to beat the heat with chilled beer? Pop the corks of your favourite brand and guzzle it but be prepared to burn a bigger hole in your pocket. Liquor dealers have brewed a price shape.

india Updated: May 18, 2006 14:10 IST

Want to beat the heat with chilled beer? Pop the corks of your favourite brand and guzzle it but be prepared to burn a bigger hole in your pocket. Liquor dealers have brewed a price shape.

A beer bottle, which cost Rs 45 to Rs 50 on Tuesday afternoon, was sold at Rs 70 the same evening. Liquor shops across the State have hiked prices of various brands from Tuesday.

Two months after the annual auction, retail liquor shop owners have raised the prices, sending the tipplers into a tizzy. Prices of middle-range Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) brands like McDowell No 1 and Royal Stag have gone up by Rs 40 per bottle.

Premium whisky brands like Peter Scot, Signature or Blenders Pride have become costlier by almost Rs 100 per bottle. Priced around Rs 455 per bottle till Tuesday, they now cost Rs 550.

Lower-range Scotch whisky brands like Hundred Pipers and Black & White now cost Rs 1200 per bottle in place of Rs 850. Prices of costlier brands in the same group like Something Special or Black Dog have gone up by Rs 400 per bottle to cost Rs 1500.

Prices of popular brands of rum, gin and vodka have also gone up. While a bottle of McDowell rum would cost Rs 50 more, Bacardi is costlier by Rs 100 per bottle.

Price of Blue Riband gin has also seen an upswing from Rs 200 per bottle to Rs 230. A liquor shopkeeper in New Market explained the hike in price. “We have paid 20 per cent more to the State Government to get licences renewed. Where the money will come from if prices are not raised?”

The State Government had allowed the licencees of previous year to retain their respective shops this year without auction if they agreed to pay 20 per cent more than the previous year’s auction price. Most of them had agreed.

Now to ensure a good profit, all the shop owners have formed a sort of cartel to sell liquor on uniform prices decided by them collectively.

Beer
45  70
Peter Scot
445  550
Hundred Pipers
850 1200