‘Ban’ Hangover: Pune alcohol consumption drops with beer sales hit the hardest
According to statistics revealed by the Pune branch of the state excise department, liquor sales in Pune showed an unprecedented decline with beer consumption falling by 10 per cent.pune Updated: Jan 13, 2018 15:24 IST
Tipplers in Pune consumed less liquor in 2017 as compared to the previous year, largely due to the Supreme Court ruling banning sale and service of alcohol within 500 metres of highways.
According to statistics revealed by the Pune branch of the state excise department, liquor sales in Pune showed an unprecedented decline with beer consumption falling by 10 per cent.
In the nine months from April 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017, Pune consumed 337.42 bl (bulk litres) of beer, which is 34.04 BL less than what was consumed during the same period in 2016.
As far as country liquor and Indian manufactured foreign liquor (IMFL) is concerned, both beverages also saw a drop in consumption.
IMFL sale between January 2017 and December in 2017 was 217.68 bl as compared to 228.47 bl during the same period in 2016.
In the case of country liquor, sale from January to December in 2017 was 170.45 bl as against 191.31 bl during the same period in 2016.
"The Supreme Court ban on selling and serving of liquor along the highways affected sale of beer, whisky and rum. At the same time a hike in the prices of beer also negatively affected sale,” said Mohan Varde, superintendent of state excise (Pune).
S D Phulpagar, deputy superintendent, state excise department, Pune, said,"Increased prices of beer forced people to search for other options, hence, it shows a drastic decline in sale. This trend will continue."
Restaurant owners said large numbers of people were affected by the SC ban that came into effect on April 1, before the apex court clarified its order in August 2017.
Out of 2,600 liquor-serving establishments in Pune district, as many as 1,600 were affected by the ban, which was revoked on September 4, allowing highway establishments to reopen.
"The highway ban hit us hard as sale of all liquor items went down. At the same time, sale of beer is going downwards as a result of prices going up by Rs 25- Rs 30," said Ganesh Shetty, president, Pune Restaurants and Hoteliers Association (PRAHA).
Interestingly, the demand for country liquor has increased to 258.37 bl in 2016-17 from 245.60 bl during 2015-16. Sales of wine, as the drink of the upwardly mobile, have also shown a marginal rise from 11.04 bl (2015-16) to 11.78 bl (2016-17).