West Bengal govt plans to tweak liquor supply model, engage distributors

By: |
September 18, 2021 6:33 PM

The department has decided to replace West Bengal State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) with distributors for sale of both foreign liquor and country spirit in the state.

The department has amended the West Bengal Excise (Foreign Liquor) Rules of 1998 and West Bengal Excise Rules 2010 for appointment of distributors, the official said. (Representative image)The department has amended the West Bengal Excise (Foreign Liquor) Rules of 1998 and West Bengal Excise Rules 2010 for appointment of distributors, the official said. (Representative image)

In a bid to streamline supply of alcoholic beverages to retailers, the West Bengal excise department is planning to tweak the liquor distribution model and engage distributors to replace the role of a state-owned entity in the delivery chain, an official said on Saturday.

The new model will be effective from October 18, 2021, he said.

The department has decided to replace West Bengal State Beverages Corporation (Bevco) with distributors for sale of both foreign liquor and country spirit in the state.

A notification was issued by the finance department on September 16 to engage distributors for transport, import, storage and supply of liquor from Bevco-managed warehouses, he said.

The department has amended the West Bengal Excise (Foreign Liquor) Rules of 1998 and West Bengal Excise Rules 2010 for appointment of distributors, the official said.

In 2017, the state had formed Bevco under the Companies Act for procuring liquor from manufacturers and selling the same to retailers in the state. It aimed at bringing transparency in the liquor distribution and also controlling quality. The entity has two warehouses in Mahestala and Cossipore in the city.

The notification said the appointed distributors may be firms, companies or co-operative societies which will be granted licences for sale of liquor to wholesalers, and subsequently to retailers.

Notably, retailers had alleged that they were facing several difficulties with the existing system as the supply from Bevco has been “irregular”.

West Bengal Foreign Liquor, Country Spirit, On, Of Shop and Hotel Owners Association assistant general secretary Sushmita Mukherjee said, “We are happy with the government’s decision to engage distributors, and this lead to creation of jobs. We will continue to work with the administration for the benefit of the liquor distribution business.”

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