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'Unfair playing field': Indian brands miffed at Maharashtra's excise duty cut on imported alcohol

In November, the Maharashtra government had announced to reduce the excise duty on imported liquors
Last Updated : 12 December 2021, 13:30 IST

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The Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) has written to Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister and Finance Minister Ajit Pawar seeking immediate withdrawal of the excise duty reduction on imported products or extending the same to all of the IMFL sector.

“Excise Duty reduction of such scale on imported products is disastrous for the Indian industry. It so distorts the playing field against the Indian industry, that consequences may be far-reaching leading to disinvestment, job losses and farmer discomfort…the (Maharashtra) Government should encourage products made in India which historically has been the main contributor to the state’s revenues and economic prosperity,” said the letter of the apex body of the Indian alcoholic beverage industry.

While referring to the drastic reduction in excise duty for imported products (“BIO”) without similar relief to Indian made products (“IMFL”), CIABC Director-General Vinod Giri said it would create a very unequal and unfair playing field against IMFL products.

“The Maharashtra Government has slashed excise duty on BIO products without giving any consideration to the interests of the Indian industry. The Government may have been misinformed about the premise and implications of this step which would severely hurt Indian liquor industry, employment, MSME sector and Indian farmers,” Giri added.

Giri further said post the massive reduction of excise duty on imported liquor, the multi-national companies are likely to shift their production back to their home countries.

Further, loss in sales will make even Indian manufacturers scale down production in the state, said a statement from the CIABC.

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Published 12 December 2021, 06:02 IST

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