Goa govt’s plan to impose tax on feni opposed

Prime News, Nation, (Panaji), February 14:-The Goa government’s proposal to impose tax on feni, which has earned the state ‘heritage drink’ tag, and also to increase excise tax on liquor has been opposed by the industry players as well as political leaders.

Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, in the state budget presented in the Assembly on February 6, has proposed a hike in the excise tax on liquor and imposition of tax on the MRP of feni.

Goa Forward Party (GFP) chief and Fatorda MLA Vijai Sardesai questioned the decision to impose tax on feni.

“Whose idea was it to tax the heritage drink, which has GI? Did it come as a suggestion from the pre budget online suggestions that the Govt sought? Or was it an original idea by the head of the Govt? #Goa needs to know!” he tweeted.

State Ports Minister Michael Lobo said he would talk to the chief minister and request him to consider reducing tax on wine and feni.

Taking to Twitter, he said, “I will speak with Hon CM @DrPramodPSawant to consider reducing tax on wines used for weddings or traditional functions and also on our local Cashew Feni.”

Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers’ Association has already expressed its objection to the move saying that tax on MRP will make feni costlier.

President of the association Gurudatt Bhakta had said that the tax will hurt genuine bottlers and distillers and also hike prices of the “common man’s drink” in the coastal state.

Feni, produced from cashew and toddy palm, has been given the status of ‘heritage drink’ by the Goa government and also has a Geographical Indication (GI).

The government’s move will make the drink costlier by Rs 100 to Rs 200 depending on the retail selling price of a bottle.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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