Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 28:
There seems to be no signs of ebbing away of the standoff between the Odisha State Beverages Corporation (OSBC)-the state-run wholesale distributor of beer and Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) in the state and the breweries over the sharing of profit earned from the sales of the frothy drink as the first meeting held in this connection with the development commissioner in chair failed to resolve the issue.
“The government is waiting for the committee’s report. After the report is made available, the next course of action will be taken,” said Damodar Rout, Minister Excise here on Monday.
According to the state government’s new excise policy for the 2015-16 fiscal that has come into force from April 1 manufacturers of top brand beers will be required to supply beer to the OSBC at rates 20% less than that of the previous fiscal. Protesting against the government’s move, major breweries have stopped their supplies to the OSBC resulting in acute crisis of beer depriving connoisseurs from guzzling a few mugs of the frothy drink from the stable of their favorite brands-summer being the peak demand season.
Sources revealed following reports in the media on this account the Excise Minister have discussed the matter with the Excise Commissioner Prasanta Kumar Senapati and OSBC MD Dwijraj Kar. The Minister too has talked with the Development Commissioner U N Behera, sources added.
“Though the government has issued show cause notices to the top brand beer manufacturers on their failure to sign up with the government for supplying stocks to the OSBC. Keeping in mind the prevailing situation in the market, the Development Commissioner had called them up for holding discussions. The Development Commissioner had asked the companies to ink the agreement and resume supplies. He proposed to them that the government will consider their memorandum and a later date will bring a proposal before the Cabinet for amendment of the new Excise policy. The beer companies did not agree with the proposal,” informed Rout briefing the media here on Monday.
The Minister said the two major companies that haven’t signed up cater to 70% of the requirement of the beer in Odisha which led to the crisis of the product.
“Beer manufacturing companies in the state have been asked to prop up supplies following which an assessment of the shortfall in supplies will be made. After that the government will be taking the next step,” said Rout.