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Pakistan keen to export Murree Beer to India
Ashok Tuteja/TNS

New Delhi, June 9
The people of Punjab may not have to wait for too long to taste the famous “Murree Beer” of Pakistan.

With India and Pakistan determined to give a new direction to their economic ties, the 150-year-old Rawalpindi-based Murree Brewery is looking for Punjab-based beer importers to sell beer and spirits to the northern state.

“The Pakistan Government seems keen to better business ties with India. And, yes, we are also hoping to export our beer to the Indian Punjab. Currently, we are looking for Punjab-based beer importers,” Isphanyar M Bhandara, chief executive of the Murree Brewery told The Tribune.

He said his company was also in a joint venture with a firm to brew and sell Murree Beer in India.

Bhandara’s comments came following reports in the Pakistani media that the Economic Committee on Trade in Pakistan has allowed the Murree Brewery to export beer to India from 2012. The proposal for a joint venture with an Indian company is a sequel to the recent announcement by New Delhi that it would soon amend the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) to permit FDI from Pakistan.

The Murree Brewery, which is named after a hill resort close to the Pakistani capital of Islamabad, has been aiming to review its old association with India for quite some time. During the British rule, Murree Beer was particularly popular with British troops. The company was also listed at the Calcutta Stock Exchange.

The Murree Brewery’s administration is certain that the taste of the beer would be liked in India and the country could become the largest market for the company’s products.

However, what is surprising is that a beer company still exists in Pakistan despite the fact that alcohol is banned in the country. It is available only to non-Muslims in major hotels and that too on producing an identity card.

The possibility of Pakistan exporting beer to India is one of the several initiatives being taken by the two countries to enhance bilateral trade and economic relations. The commerce ministers of the two countries have already pledged to dismantle hurdles in the way of increasing official trade to $6 billion by 2014.

Direct trade between India and Pakistan constitutes less than 1 per cent of their respective global trade. India exported goods worth $2.33 billion to Pakistan last year, while its imports were a mere 330 million dollars.

Perhaps, the export of beer by Pakistan would offset to some extent the huge trade imbalance in India’s favour.

But will the religious conservatives in Pakistan allow the country become an exporter of beer?


  • Murree Beer is produced by a 150-year-old Rawalpindi-based brewery
  • The product is named after a hill resort near Islamabad
  • The brand was very popular with British troops during the British rule
  • The company was also listed at the Calcutta Stock Exchange
  • Alcohol consumption is banned in Pakistan
  • It is sold only to the non-Muslims in major hotels and that too on the production of identity card





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