SEOUL, Nov.20 (Korea Bizwire) – After rumors that the government will be regulating discounts on imported beer, consumers are expressing strong feelings of dissatisfaction. The government responded by saying that ‘nothing is sure at the moment’ in an effort to minimize consumer anger.
The controversy started when a media source reported that “the Ministry of Strategy and Finance announced that they will suggest a standard price to restrict discounted prices of imported beer”.
According to the current liquor tax law, promotions are restricted such that giveaways that exceed five percent of the turnover are prohibited. Offering discounts that result in retail prices lower than the factory price (which includes the liquor tax) is forbidden. It is literally impossible to sell domestic beer at discounted prices.
However, there are no regulations on imported beer with regards to promotions or discounts. Only the declared value including customs is known in the case of imported beer, making it difficult to apply regulations on discount rates due to the lack of a standard. As a result, domestic beer producers are complaining that the current system is unfair.
Interpreting the reported article under the circumstances, the government seems to be looking into setting a standard to regulate discounts on imported beer.
The domestic liquor industry is welcoming the movement, as they claim that it is difficult to compete against imported beer when they are giving out discounts and free beer glasses to their customers.
However, consumers were up in arms at the announcement. Most of the reactions criticized the government who ‘took away the chance to enjoy imported beers at a relatively cheap price’.
Governor Jeon Byeong-hun of the New Politics Alliance for Democracy (NPAD) also weighed in on the matter, criticizing the government for not knowing that ordinary people are letting go of their worries through imported beers, which are usually sold at a price of 10,000 won for four large cans.
By Francine Jung (firstname.lastname@example.org)