Pune: From tomorrow your favourite beer and other hard liquor will come with a bigger price tag. The new sales tax and excise duty will be effective from tomorrow and according to industry insiders, medium-sized restaurants and retailers have already starting stocking up bottles.
Ajay Deshmukh, Secretary, Pune District Wine Merchant Association said, "During summer, the sale of alcohol rises, especially beer. There is always shortage of beer during this season. Therefore, it becomes favourite liquor among the restaurateurs to stock up." "Retailers sell bottles at MRP but restaurants levy more service tax. From April 1, prices on the menu card will change as service tax has also increased."
According to experts, not just restaurants but even retailers are stocking up bottles in advance to earn more profits. Vijay Kutty, president, Pune District Wine Trader's Association, said, "Retailers normally stock around Rs 25 lakh liquor per month. Now they will stock between Rs 30 to 40 lakh," he added.
Ganesh Shetty, owner, Kalinga Restaurant and president of Pune Restaurants and Hotels Association said, "We stock for almost two months but not to gain profits. There is demand for it. We sell it to our customers at reasonable prices. However, the manufacturing cost has increased now and it will be an added burden on us and customers."