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Govt to rethink proposed liquor excise duty hike

Panaji: Chief Minister Pramod Sawant on Tuesday directed the excise department to do a rethink on the proposed hike of excise duty on liquor. He also said that the government will consider exempting cashew feni and wine from excise duty.

After the Chief Minister proposed to hike excise duty on liquor in the annual budget 2020-21 presented in the state assembly on February 6, the liquor traders as well as opposition parties objected to the proposal.

On Tuesday, a delegation of the Goa Liquor Traders Association met the Chief Minister at his official residence and urged him to restructure the proposed hike on excise duty.

“I have ordered the excise department to do a rethink on excise tax hike. The government is also thinking about exempting feni and wine from excise duty,” the Chief Minister told the media after meeting the Goa Liquor Traders Association members.

The contention of the members of the Association is that prices of liquor in the neighbouring states are cheaper than in Goa. Thus, the proposed excise duty hike needs to be restructured, Sawant said.

Goa Liquor Traders Association president Dattaprasad Naik said that the Chief Minister is positive on restructuring of excise duty on liquor proposed in the budget.

“Chief Minister assured us that he will look into our demand of restructuring the proposed duty hike. He has also told us that wine and cashew feni would be exempted from tax,” Naik said.

He said that the Association is not demanding a complete rollback of the proposed hike on excise duty but urged the Chief Minister to consider that the hike would be between two to five per cent.

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