The Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI) has written to the Maharashtra Government pleading hotels and restaurants in the state to be given permission to liquidate perishable liquor stocks lying with them.
Estimated to be in excess of Rs 10 crore with all licence holders, the goods including liquors and beers are likely to perish due to the expiry of the products.
The association has stated that allowing liquidation of the unsold stock will minimise the losses and introduce working capital by encashment of the existing liquor stock.
“The hospitality industry is under lockdown now for almost 45 days. Further, all sale of liquor under FL3 licences have been prohibited by declaration of ‘dry day’ pursuant to the order issued by the state excise. But now with the government relaxing the ban on sale of liquor we are hoping to salvage from the unsold stock which in turn can induce some liquidity into our businesses,” said Gurbaxish Singh Kohli, president, HRAWI.
“This will introduce working capital for many establishments that are bleeding in outgoing expenses and are sitting on dormant stocks,” he added.
In the letter to the government, the association has requested that either it directs manufacturers to replace liquor stocks that are on the verge of expiry or already expired or allow the sale of perishable liquor stocks from the outlets of FL3 licence holders, as and when the same is advisable, under the present circumstances.
Kohli said, “Under the present situation of chaos at the liquor shops across the country, we believe allowing all FL3 licensees to sell liquor would help the cause of social distancing, maintenance of law and order and reducing the risk of crowding at public places. Our suggestion is only complementary to the government’s decision of allowing sale of liquor across the state.”