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Liquor prices in Goa set to increase

Liquor prices in the state known for low cost alcohol are set to go up marginally from the next month.

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Liquor prices in Goa set to increase
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Liquor prices in Goa, which is known for low cost booze, are set to go up marginally from the next month, owing to a substantial rise in warehousing rates as proposed in the state budget presented yesterday.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar increased the Value Added Tax (VAT) on Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) and foreign liquor, including beer, from existing 20% to 22%, which will translate into an increase of Rs4 per bottle of beer and Rs20 for foreign liquor.

Liquor traders and vendors are waiting for the companies to rework their pricing which will decide how much the end-user will have to shell out from his pocket.

Goa has 7,100 bars and 1,000 wholesale traders.

Excise Commissioner PS Reddy said the fresh tax revision would mop up revenue of Rs225 crore during the forthcoming fiscal from existing Rs170 crore in the current fiscal. He, however, did not foresee any dip in liquor consumption due to price rise.

"There is no complaint about increase in VAT as we know that the chief minister will return that money in the form of other social benefit schemes," said Dattaprasad Naik, President, All Goa Liquor Traders Association (AGLTA).

The association is, however, upset over the hike in the warehousing fees to Rs10,000 from current Rs 3,000 per year.

Terming the increase as a major hit to the business, Naik said the AGLTA would formally petition the chief minister demanding rollback.

"There are big traders and also small ones. Big traders can bear this hike but not the small ones," he said, adding that the trade is already reeling under the hike in licence fees which were increased to Rs30,000 by the erstwhile Digambar Kamat government in the last budget.

Bernabe Sapeco, a liquor vendor and member of the Goa Chamber of Commerce and  Industry (GCCI) tourism committee, said that the hike proposed in the cost of liquor is not substantial.

"We are waiting for the companies to announce their maximum retail price (MRP). Once the pricing is known, we will be able to make any comments," he said.

Sapeco said that the retailers might not even pass on the hike to the customers and instead bear it on themselves so as to ensure that the business is not affected.

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