With the national lockdown due to COVID-19 enforced since 24 March, and further extended to 17 May across India, the sale of beer and other alcoholic spirits has been suspended.
Here is the case for reopening the beer industry in the country, in five graphic cards.
With the beer industry contributing approximately Rs 56,000 crore in annual sales, the lockdown has hit the industry hard.
All India Brewers Association director general Shobhan Roy said that the months of March-June record sales amounting to 40 percent of the total annual revenue – the lockdown has spelled doom for the industry.
“This was the peak season for us. Not just in pubs and restaurants, even the retail sales from outlets have been hit. The manufacturers will still take time to recover and get businesses back on track. We foresee losses to the tune of 20 percent because of the ongoing situation and with the lockdown extension meaning that pubs and bars will remain shut for the next few weeks, the losses can also go up to 30 percent,” Roy said.
The Association is now seeking relief from the government in terms of suspending taxes and levies, in order to reduce the financial burden on the beer industry, that together along with the alcohol industry, contributes about Rs 2 lakh crore of 1.5 percent of the country’s GDP every year.
Roy added: “In a scenario where GST collections have been weak and there are missed targets over several quarters in 2019 and 2020, the percentage contribution of revenue from beer and alcohol for states is projected to increase to as much as 50 percent for FY21.”