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India. Bihar government reneges on its promise to allow liquor export: Firms

The liquor manufacturing units have accused the state government of reneging on its promise to give them permits to export their products outside Bihar. There are three breweries in the state owned by Molson Coors Cobra, Carlsberg India and United Breweries, all located in Patna. The state also has 12 manufacturing and bottling plants.After enforcing total prohibition in Bihar on April 5, the Nitish Kumar government had assured the liquor firms to keep granting them permits to export their products to other states.However, sources in the liquor industry claimed that no permit has been granted in the last two months.

A brewery firm official said the excise department granted export permission only once in April to the United Breweries and Carlsberg for 28,800 and 92,000 cases, respectively.The manufacturing firms, after the prohibition, had applied and got permits from the neighbouring and northeastern states to import liquor from Bihar. They paid hefty excise and import duty for that, but the Bihar government sat on the files till the validity of their permits expired.Senior manager of a liquor firm said they had applied thrice to the state excise department for permission to export liquor to Jharkhand, but the department refused citing unavoidable reasons."We deposited around Rs 3 crore with the Jharkhand government as excise and import duty for liquor import permit," he said and added that the Bihar government did not allow them to export their products despite making an announcement in this regard.However, assistant excise commissioner cum public relation officer O P Mandal said the department is readily granting permits to the breweries for export. "We recently granted export permit to one of the firms," he said.Manager of a brewery firm said the state government has double standards on liquor policy.

Summary
"We recently granted export permit to one of the firms," he said.Manager of a brewery firm said the state government has double standards on liquor policy. Patna: The liquor manufacturing units have accused the state government of reneging on its promise to give them permits to export their products outside Bihar . There are three breweries in the state owned by Molson Coors Cobra, Carlsberg India and United Breweries , all located in Patna. Molson, a UK-based firm has 1.5 lakh manufactured cases of beer. "Even if the state excise department is showing willingness to grant export permit, the officials are deliberately putting clauses which are practically impossible to fulfil," they said.Even an excise official admitted that the clauses for export are being made so stringent that it becomes impossible to fulfil them.

14 Jul. 2016

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