Uzbekistan: trade restrictions invigorate the black market
Uzmetronom reports that the liquor traffic restrictions imposed in Uzbekistan on May 1 have had an immediate and invigorating effect on the black market. Bootleg vodka is available all over Uzbekistan now, and particularly at bazaars.
Approach any vendor (say, seller of cakes) and say you want vodka. A bottle of liquid of suspicious origin will be thrust into you bag in no time at all.
The liquor traffic restrictions sent prices soaring sky-high (liquor is usually smuggled from nearby Kazakhstan).
Published in the media on March 16, President Islam Karimov's resolution "On liquor" set the new rules of liquor traffic that were extolled as "an indication of the care taken of the health of the population" and "a means of prevention of the sale of poor-quality liquor".
Only organizations and companies with special licenses are permitted to deal in liquor now. The licenses are issued by special panels set up within the regional administrations and Tashkent administration. Applicants for the license must have the authorized capitals equalling 50 minimal wages in rural areas and 100 in cities.