Indonesia clamps down on liquor sales

Indonesia’s Islamic-led government is to ban the sale of alcohol from convenience stores from January 31.

Trade Minister Rahmat Gobel has reportedly signed a regulation that will ban small, modern retail chains from selling beverages including beers and pre-mixed drinks with less than five per cent alcohol.

The ban will apply in popular tourist hotspots like Bali.

According to the Jakarta Globe newspaper, the ban will not affect supermarkets and hypermarkets, such as Carrefour.

Tutum Rahanta, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Retail Business Association, said he was disappointed with the regulation as it might harm certain sectors of the economy, such as tourism.

“Retail businessmen rely on the sale of alcoholic beverages to accommodate foreign tourists’ needs,” he told Indonesian website Tribunnews.com.

C-stores across Asia commonly stock small ranges of liquor products, but most customers tend to be foreigners or tourists as liquor is priced higher than at supermarkets or hypermarkets where locals prefer to shop.

Rahanta called for Indonesia’s government to delegate power to local governments to regulate the sale of liquor in their own areas.

 

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