In your interest.
Online Personal Finance Magazine
No beating about the bush.
Muddled, disorganised and confused—that’s not your brain after you have had one too many; that’s the state of the law that regulates consumption of alcohol
Did you know why your favourite watering hole is called a ‘permit’ room? That’s because Maharashtra requires you to posses a liquor permit if you want to consume alcohol. What’s more, if you want to transport alcohol of any kind, you require a permit.
This 'requirement' is a classic case of a rule which is almost always breached, but has always existed in the statute books. The charade gets worse: The permissible drinking age is 25, according to the law, but various bars, pubs and ‘wine’ shops (as they are so called) have notices proclaiming that alcohol will not be sold to anyone below the age of 21.
The point is, why does the State have such an absurd policy like a 'permit' system under an archaic law like the Bombay Prohibition Act (1949)? According to this Act, purchasing and drinking alcohol without a permit is an 'offence.' The Act is clearly spelt out on a Maharashtra government official website: http://mumbaicity.gov.in/htmldocs/liquor.htm.
Reports have been appearing in sections of the media that the permitted age for drinking will now be ‘increased’ to 25. But, according to the Act, this age stipulation already exists.
“There is no question of an amendment (to the law), because there is already an Act all along telling us that the age limit for drinking is 25 years,” said consumer activist and lawyer Jehangir Gai.
For the record, a liquor permit can be obtained for Rs25 (one year) and Rs75 (for three years). Permits can be obtained immediately on submission of application, says the government’s website.
There are various penalties under the Act, which even include imprisonment up to five years or a fine which can go up to Rs50,000.
“The officials cannot enforce the law, and they are not really inclined to do so,” said a bar owner, who obviously preferred anonymity.
So why have such a rule in the first place? If the Act is not being enforced and is being flouted by all and sundry, isn’t it time the State repealed it?
It sponsors teams, spends billions (of dollars) on advertising and is probably the world’s most well-known brand. But Coca-Cola seems to have forgotten what it takes to service a customer. What’s worse, Coke prefers to maintain a deafening silence—and enter a state of denial—when confronted with what is a major slip-up at its end
The next time you have a strong urge to down a bottle of Coke, do make it a point to hold up the bottle (as you would do with a Rs1,000 note) and examine it minutely to see if it contains any insect life.
On 7th April, your correspondent gulped down an insect or two from a 200-ml Coca-Cola bottle.
(Please see : http://www.moneylife.in/article/8/4652.html).
You would imagine that the soft-drink multinational would have taken prompt action—at least an apology over the telephone—for what obviously is a major slip-up at its end, which could have had potentially hazardous ramifications.
But Coca-Cola India feels that an apology to a customer would be stooping too low. It has told Moneylife that it wants our article (see above link) pulled out.
Since the numerous executives who are ‘in charge of customer service’ for the multinational’s operations in India have failed to respond in a satisfactory manner, we even went to the extent of contacting its Atlanta headquarters.
But the deafening silence continues from Coke’s end.
Coca-Cola India now wants to ‘inspect’ the bottle with insects floating around in it. An executive from its public relations department (Amit Govind) has told Moneylife that Coke wants to ‘scrutinise’ the bottle.
We’ll keep you posted on what happens after Coke’s sleuth inspects the bottle.
So the next time you want to enjoy the ‘real thing’, do ensure that a Coke executive is around before the bottle is uncorked. If you have some flora and fauna floating around in the liquid, the soft-drink major will have all the ‘proof’ it needs to take any further action—if it chooses to do so, of course.
It was a special occasion for all at Moneylife Foundation on 5 February 2010 when the Moneylife Knowledge Centre was launched at the hands of Sanjay Nirupam, member of Parliament, who graciously accepted our invitation to be the chief guest at the event despite it being his birthday. The Moneylife Knowledge Centre, set up by the Moneylife Foundation in Mumbai, will supplement the efforts of...