Why are there no bar supplies in India?
In an age where bar supplies are scarce, why are there not more bar supplies available in India, writes Vikas Pandya in The Hindu.
In a country where bars are the most popular form of entertainment, why do the majority of bar vendors remain private and not open to the public?
In India, a country with a very large bar scene, there are currently no bars in bars.
“People have no choice.
We have no money to go to bars,” said Biju Muthu, a local bar owner.
Muthu is a member of the Bandi Sangharsh Samiti, which represents bar owners in the city of Chennai.
The Samiti claims to have nearly 1,000 bar vendors, which is far higher than the 1,500 that the government currently offers to bar owners, according to a 2013 report by the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
However, the NCDRC report, released in 2014, found that, “there is no data on bar supply in India.”
The report found that only a handful of states in India had any data on how many bars there are in their state.
While the NCRRC report found some states had more than 1,200 bars, in many other states, it found that there were fewer than 300 bars.
“In a lot of states, bars are closed,” said Ramaswamy Kala, who runs an online bar guide.
“We have to travel to other states to find the nearest bar.”
The problem is exacerbated by the fact that the bar industry in India is fragmented and poorly regulated.
Many bar owners are unable to legally open their bars in the country due to the lack of proper paperwork, said Kala.
“It’s not just the state level, there is also local level regulation and licensing,” he said.
“There is a real fear among many bar owners that they won’t be able to survive in the current economy,” he added.
The lack of bar supplies also affects India’s burgeoning bar scene.
Bar owners in Chennai are faced with a challenge in making ends meet, said Ramakrishna Ranganathan, president of the Bar Council of India.
“The situation is really difficult for many barbers because they have no income, they have to go out and find new jobs.
So the situation is not going to improve in a year,” he told The Hindu, adding that most barbers in Chennai work for the local bar owners and that they earn less than Rs 1,600 per month.
In the last two years, the government has announced plans to expand bars to 10,000 outlets by 2022.
While this plan is being implemented, the issue of the lack a bar supply remains a problem for bar owners.
According to an NCRCC report, Bar Federation of India (BFI) has reported that, since the government opened bars in 2020, the number of bars has risen from 6,000 to 10.7 lakh in the last five years.
The BFI also estimates that only 2,700 bars are in existence in the entire country, a number that is only a third of the number available in bars in other states.
“The problem in bars is that the establishments are too small to cater to the demand,” said Kalla.
Bar owners are also faced with the issue that they don’t have the financial resources to purchase their own equipment.
“In Chennai, the most expensive bar equipment is Rs 1 lakh, and the most cost effective is a small bar-making machine for Rs 200,000,” said Ranganatha.
According to a 2016 report by a group of Indian economists, the shortage of bars is the biggest impediment to India’s economic growth, with India facing a fiscal deficit of more than Rs 13,000 crore.