Tamil Nadu

Tasmac allowed to introduce buy back scheme for bottles in the Nilgiris

Just days after the Madras High Court warned the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation (Tasmac) of closing down all its retail liquor shops in the hill stations, the State government has permitted the corporation to charge ₹10 more than the maximum retail price (MRP) only in the Nilgiris and refund the excess amount when the customer returns the glass bottles without littering them in the forests.

Justices V. Bharathidasan and N. Sathish Kumar had come down heavily on Tasmac on April 18 for not bothering about the animals, especially the elephants, which suffered injuries due to the broken glass bottles. They took serious note of a submission made by amicus curiae M. Santhanaraman that elephants develop infections due to the injuries sustained after stepping on glass bottles and die within three months.

Tired of making repeated requests to the corporation to come up with a buy back scheme for the glass bottles, the judges fixed an ultimatum of April 25. Acting immediately, Tasmac Managing Director L. Subramanian wrote to the Prohibition and Excise Secretary S.K. Prabakar on April 19 seeking permission to sell liquor at ₹10 over the MRP in the Nilgiris district and refund the amount on the return of the bottles.

The government accepted the request and wrote back to the Tasmac MD on April 21 granting permission to implement the buy back scheme. The Secretary ordered that a rubber stamp be affixed on the liquor bottles sold in the Nilgiris in order to identify them, and after that, Tasmac liquor shops could start collecting the extra charge from customers. The excess amount should be refunded when the bottle is returned to any liquor shop in the district.

Mr. Prabakar also directed the Tasmac MD to make necessary arrangements to create awareness about the scheme among the residents as well as the tourists to the Nilgiris. He was also asked to take the assistance of the Nilgiris district administration for the effort.

Now, Tasmac had planned to place this government letter, according permission for the buy back scheme, before the Madras High Court on Monday and save its liquor shops from getting shut.

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Printable version | Apr 23, 2022 11:01:29 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/tasmac-allowed-to-introduce-buy-back-scheme-for-bottles-in-the-nilgiris/article65348639.ece