Tatarstan is suffering from a very serious problem. In July, new legislation required individuals to obtain licenses for selling alcohol. Faced with high costs and complex bureaucracy, many merchants chose to simply stop selling the most common cure for boring village life. Enter Tatarstan Pochtasi.
According to official figures, three major districts now have no shops at all and a further five have almost none.
With the competition wiped out, the director-general of Tatarstan Pochtasi, Olga Kuznetsova, sensed a chance to make a killing. “We have 58 shops and we are selling alcohol in 24 of those,” she says. “When we have shops, they sell everything: milk, bread, and alcohol.”
In the long term, the post office says it plans to extend alcohol sales to 1,058 of its outlets in 44 districts of Tatarstan.
What is a postal service doing selling alcohol and food? It would appear that Tatarstan Pochtasi successfully privatized. This might allow the postal service to get a monopoly on the legal sale of alcohol in most of Tatarstan, but the Alcohol Inspectorate says that they are the only legal entity with the ability to sell alcohol throughout all of Tatarstan. And, as RFE/RL reports, this will only make the post office more vital an institution in Tatar villages.
Clearly the British milkman in his role of community carer could also open up a new market. Or perhaps British village postoffices could twin with Tatarstan Pochtasi to share experiences, since they usually sell food as well.
More is revealed in the original article;
Tatarstan: Post Office Expands Into Vodka Business - RADIO FREE EUROPE / RADIO LIBERTY
It's been a dry summer in the far-flung villages of rural Tatarstan. Lack of water, though, is not
the problem. A traditional antidote to the tedium of village life is suddenly and dramatically in short supply.
Ramshackle shops and kiosks selling rows of vodka and beer were until this summer a feature of almost every village. Now their doors are locked and their shelves empty.
The owners, and with them their stock, vanished in July after state legislation forced individual traders to obtain a license to sell alcohol -- or close. Most chose the latter, daunted by the costs and a web of bureaucracy.
"If some older people need some work to be done in the garden or a roof to be repaired, they pay [with] vodka. And people, usually young people, they don't want money, they want just vodka."
"The lack of places selling alcohol in the villages is leading to illegal trade -- that's to say, trade has begun in bootleg alcohol," notes the deputy head of Tatarstan's State Alcohol Inspectorate, Rustem Arslanov. "So we need places that are licensed to sell alcohol. Tatarstan Pochtasi applied to us and we have supported them."