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India's Highway Liquor Ban Has Distillers Bracing for Pain

  • Top court ordered shutting such stores to curb drunk driving
  • About 40,000 liquor outlets shut after ban, executive says
A truck drives past a roadside liquor store located along a highway in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, on Feb. 20.

A truck drives past a roadside liquor store located along a highway in Gurgaon, Haryana, India, on Feb. 20.

Photographer: Udit Kulshrestha/Bloomberg
Updated on

As India’s recent ban on liquor stores along highways displaces outlets, the nation’s distillers are bracing for a drop in sales of as much as 8 percent this year, biting into the country’s $31 billion spirits market, according to a local maker of whiskey, vodka and rum.

Industrywide sales would drop by as much as 15 percent in the next three months as about 40,000 outlets, including retail shops and restaurants, stopped selling spirits, wine and beer after the ban took effect April 1, Deepak Roy, executive vice chairman of Allied Blenders and Distillers Ltd., said in an interview.