Traders threaten to take Kingfisher, Budweiser beer off Goa shelves

Panaji, May 1 (IANS) Kingfisher and Budweiser beer sold in glass bottles may be off counters in Goa by next week, the state’s only liquor trading body warned Wednesday.

In a statement issued here, the Goa Liquor Traders Association (GLTA), which represents a majority of the liquor traders in Goa, have asked all its members to stop selling the bottled beers because of the chaos caused by the insistence of both companies to retain and return empty bottles, and demand a deposit from the customers who prefer to take the bottle away, instead of consuming it at the point of purchase.

“GLTA members have resolved to stop purchase of Kingfisher beer (bottles) 650 ml and 330 ml pints and also Budweiser pints from all distributors of Goa due to the empty bottle deposit system, which exists nowhere in India,” says the written statement issued by GLTA and signed by four of its top office bearers.

Beer bottles manufactured by the two brands, in the dimensions mentioned, will be taken off the shelves from May 8, the statement further says.

Canned beer, however, will be allowed to be sold, the association, headed by Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) functionary Dattaprasad Naik, said.

The association members are expected to meet top officials of UB distilleries to resolve the issue as far as Kingfisher is concerned, an official said.

Goa, one of the top beach tourism destinations in the country, is reputed for selling the cheapest liquor in the country, thanks to a relaxed tax regime as far as alcohol is concerned.

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