The Delhi government has banned the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev from selling its beer products in the city for three years for allegedly evading excise duty. Some of the popular beer brands under the name of Anheuser-Busch InBev include Budweiser, Hoegaarden and Stella Artois.
An investigation conducted by the government brings out the fact that the beer maker SABMiller used duplicate barcodes on its beer bottles supplied to the city retailers, thereby evading taxes.
A 19-page order dated July 16 reads, “The barcodes were being duplicated by ... SABMiller and supplied to the retail outlets to evade payment of excise duty’’.
A follow-on investigation showed that some beer bottles sent to the bar in November had identical barcodes to those found in the inspection in August, the government order also said.
A senior government official told Reuters on Tuesday that the Delhi government has ordered to put AB InBev on the ‘blacklist’ for three years and also seal two of the AB InBev’s warehouse in Delhi.
The official said, “This means the company is debarred from Delhi market for all purposes, unless they appeal against this’’.
However, Ab InBev denied all the allegations and said that it would appeal against the order. A company’s spokesperson told Reuters, “Integrity and ethics are part of our core values ... (We) look forward to presenting our views in full cooperation with the excise appellate process’’.