Goa Budget 2012: Liquor prices to shoot up

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.

Last Updated: Mar 27, 2012, 15:26 PM IST

Panaji: 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.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar increased the Value
Added Tax (VAT) on Indian made foreign liquor (IMFL) and
foreign liquor, including beer, from existing 20 per cent to
22 per cent, which will translate into an increase of Rs 4 per
bottle of beer and Rs 20 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 P S Reddy said the fresh tax
revision would mop up revenue of Rs 225 crore during the
forthcoming fiscal from existing Rs 170 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 Rs 10,000 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 Rs 30,000 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.

PTI