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INDIA: UB Group chief calls on Indian drinks industry to unite

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The head of The UB Group, Vijay Mallya, has called on the Indian liquor industry to unite and demand its due from the country's government.

For an industry which generated INR2.5 trillion (US$5 trillion) in annual revenues, Mallya said last weekend, the step-motherly treatment by the Government had to end.

“Next to sales tax, liquor revenues are the biggest earner for various governments and yet the industry is treated like an untouchable,” he said.

Politics had often hijacked the interests of the industry to cash in on votes, Mallya argued, and yet the authorities have relied on the very same industry to rake in huge revenues. He cited instances where “in the state of Andhra Pradesh, previous populist attempts at prohibition had almost left the state exchequer bankrupt”.

“We must put aside our differences and take on the system and influence policies", said Mallya.

Mallya was addressing the first day of BevINDIA 2010, a two-day alcobev event organised with support from the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) in Delhi.

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United Breweries reported strong rises in third quarter sales and profits late last week.


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