New Delhi: Fruit based aerated during may be cheaper as the Food Ministry has asked the Finance Ministry to remove the cess on these drinks in the Upcoming Budget, Zee Media sources have said .
Fruit-based aerated drinks attract 28 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST) with an additional 12 percent cess. This rake up the tax on the fizzy drinks to 40 percent.
In the Budget the government my remove 12 percent cess on the aerated fruit drinks.
In 2016, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had suggested mixing at least 2 percent fruit juice in aerated drinks to help distressed farmers find a new market for their produce.
Suggesting the idea to top officials of leading aerated drinks companies, he said, "Why cant 2 percent natural juice be mixed in aerated drinks? This will provide farmers a market for their produce,"
The possibility of blending cold carbonated drinks, which are widely considered not healthy, with natural fruit juice is also being looked into.
A report by the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations, consumption of non-alcoholic beverages is expected to increase by 16.5-19 percent over the next few years in the country.
2018-19 Budget, which will also be the last regular Budget of the NDA government, will be unveiled on February 1.