We all know that alcohol is injurious to our health. Every advertisement, billboard, newspaper and even liquor bottles carry health warnings. But as they say, “the whole thing is that ki bhaiya sabse bada rupaiya,” Rajasthan is now coaxing bars in hotels, restaurants and beer lounges to increase sales in the bid to increase revenue.
The state has already raised retail liquor prices, licence fees and VAT this year. But they are now serving notices to bars in hotels to pay a penalty for not selling 10% more liquor than last year.
As reported by TOI, Dilip Tiwari, the secretary of Hotel Bar Owners Welfare Association, said, “The authorities concerned want us to increase sales by 10%. Many hotels face competition due to the increase in the number of bars and lounges and failed to register a 10% growth in sales. Now, these hotels have been issued notices to pay penalty for not selling more alcohol than last year.”
Tiwari further added that on one hand, the authorities are increasing the rates of liquor and on the other, they want us to sell more.
As reported, earlier only retail shops were covered under the policy of increasing liquor offtake from the government by 10% every year. But without consulting bar owners, the excise department has also now brought bars under the policy.
Tiwari said it was possible for retail shops to increase sales by 10% because their number remains constant as opposed to bars. He explained that new bars and pubs increase competition in the market, thereby impacting sales.
“Bars are on the rise every year, resulting in lower footfalls. For us, it is not possible to increase sales by 10% every year as in the case of retail shops whose number remains constant,” Tiwari said.
Considering the health risks associated with liquor, shouldn’t the state look into controlling sales rather than penalizing establishments for not selling more alcohol? What do you think? Tell us.