Tasmac salesmen don’t give two hoots to MRP warnings
Salesmen have different theories to justify the MRP violation.
CHENNAI: Maximum Retail Price violations continue to exist in the Tasmac liquor outlets in the city and across the State despite strict warnings issued by the Tamil Nadu government.
There were a series of complaints from tipplers after the Tasmac salesmen recently increased the price to Rs 10 per quarter bottle from the previous Rs 5.
Recently, Excise Minister V Senthilbalaji was questioned by media persons about MRP violations in liquor outlets. When hundreds of videos on MRP violations went viral, the minister, in a review meeting, instructed Tasmac authorities to monitor and penalise those indulged in over-charging.
However, tipplers say the strict warning to stop MRP violations was just on paper. S Nagendran, a municipality employee who buys liquor regularly in the Pammal area, rued that Tasmac salesmen are still collecting Rs 10 extra per quarter liquor bottle additionally for all brands and Rs 20 extra on half bottles and Rs 40 extra on full bottles.
Salesmen have different theories to justify the MRP violation. “We need to pay for any breakage of liquor bottles while transporting from the depot to the shop, and we do not have any option but to collect extra from the customers,” a Tasmac outlet supervisor in Egmore said.
He said the extra money collected also goes to the pockets of officials of various levels in different departments. “We also need to pay for everyday shop maintenance activities including electrical repairs,” the supervisor said.
A senior official from Tasmac, seeking anonymity, said in 2022, over 4,000 salespersons indulged in malpractices by selling liquor beyond the MRP. “Over Rs 4 crore was collected as fine from the violators,” he said adding several salespersons were also given punishment transfers.
The official further said after the recent hooch tragedy, the priority was given to close all illegal bars functioning near the liquor outlets.