INDIA: Delhi to get exclusive stores of imported drinks

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The government of India's capital Delhi is making plans to set up off-trade stores for the exclusive sale of imported brands of liquor, according to local press reports.

The city's excise department has said that the current public vends are not suitable to cater for the up-market customers looking to buy the relatively expensive imported products.

The department had planned to privatise some of the city's off-trade sector, hoping that the private players could then cater for the customers after foreign made beverages.

However after plans for privatisation failed, the department has now said that each of the four government-owned operations running beverage stores should identify two stores each for selling foreign liquor.

An official said: "There is a huge difference in the price structure of the Indian made foreign liquor and the imported foreign liquor, so it would be more feasible to have separate arrangements for catering to the demands of the different segments."

The identification of the stores is likely to take a month, after which the Excise Department will consider the feasibility of each site.

If the experiment is a success more such stores may be set up.

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