The Delhi government has rejected French spirits major Pernod Ricard’s application for sales license renewal. The company however has said that it will challenge the order.
“Pernod Ricard India has been pursuing its license to operate in Delhi since the re-implementation of the former Excise Policy. It will continue to do so and will challenge through the due process the recent decision by the Excise authorities to deny Pernod Ricard India this operating license, as it is keen to re-start supplies as soon as possible,” a Pernod Ricard India spokesperson said.
Delhi government’s excise department last week decided not to renew the sales license of Pernod Ricard, on the grounds that investigations into the company are still underway, according to reports.
It further said that, In September 2022, an application from Pernod Ricard was received, however, it was not approved at the time. The company then requested a court order, which told the excise agency to formally make a decision, post which the application has been turned down.
The company faces allegations of having financially supported some retailers in Delhi to stock more of its brands. Some officials of the company have been alleged of providing bank guarantees for the same. Benoy Babu, a Pernod Ricard official, was previously arreted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in November 2022 in connection with a money laundering case involving the now-scrapped Delhi Excise Policy.
The company in its statement further said, “Pernod Ricard’s business in India is a strong success story in spite of this situation in New Delhi city, as evidenced by the recent business results.”
Pernod Ricard in India operates through its two distilleries in Nashik (Maharashtra) and Behror (Rajasthan) apart from 29 bottling sites. It manufactures its brands Royal Stag, Blenders Pride, and Imperial Blue in India. Other products like Absolut Vodka and Chivas Regal from its global portfolio are imported to the Indian market. 97 per cent of its India sales volume is produced in India itself.