Liquor shops that re-opened on Monday after a month-long lockdown have steeply jacked up retail prices. While beer priced between Rs 150 and Rs 180 is being sold for Rs 220, whiskey has seen a hike of about 50-80%. A 750ml bottle of Johnny Walker’s Black Label, for instance, is being sold at Rs 4,000 to Rs 4,500, nearly double its price.

Marginal hike is understandable but the cost now is almost double

Many who went to liquor stores looking to buy some, complained about the exorbitant prices. Nikhil Gupta, a resistant of Sector 45, wanted to buy a case of beer but instead settled for a few bottles only. “We checked multiple shops and found almost similar prices – early double of what we usually pay,” he told TOI. Another resident of Gurugram had a similar grouse. “They have increased the prices of all brands. Everything has become costly,” she said, adding that while a marginal hike is understandable, the cost now is almost double.

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The hike in prices of Liquor were an attempt to cover some lose 

Meanwhile, Abhimanyu Singla, owner of Discovery Wines, said the rates were a little high on Monday but were down to pre-lockdown levels on Tuesday. He further said that the business was down and they were running into losses. Another person in liquor business, who owns a chain of vends, said the higher rates on the first day were an attempt to cover some of the losses. “But despite that, vendors hardly managed about 50% of the pre-lockdown collection, mainly due to low sales volume,” he added.

Haryana’s excise policy there is no upper limit on the price of liquor- Officer

Haryana’s excise policy does not cap liquor prices; only the minimum selling price is fixed. Thus, there is no upper limit on what a liquor bottle costs in the state. Even before the lockdown, the price would vary in Gurugram’s localities because the licence fee of the zones is different. Aruna Singh, deputy excise and taxation commissioner, said no formal complaint had been received till now. “Under the state excise policy, there is no upper limit on the price of liquor. It only fixes the minimum retail price. However, the department has formed a team to look into the matter,” she said.

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