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India. Beer may be most popular drink for tourists

If revenue receipts are to be considered, the sale of hard liquor is higher than beer (malt liquor) in Goa, but the excise department believes this alone can't be taken as a true measure of consumption pattern of different types of alcohol sold in the state.

Only a research study of the consumption pattern will give a true picture even as generally domestic tourists visiting Goa prefer light spirits like beer rather than hard liquor which cost less than the latter.

In 2015-16, the sale of beer was 78.69 crore whereas 121.21 crore of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) was sold for the same period.

Menino D'Souza, excise commissioner , said unless there is a proper study it cannot be said what type of liquor sold more. "Mere receipt can't be a deciding factor at this stage," he said. A bottle of hard liquor will cost more than a similar quantity of beer for higher content of alcohol. Also, hard liquor is taxed higher. Beer contains 8% (as volume by volume) alcohol content, whereas in IMFLs such as whisky, brandy, rum it is 42.8 % and in wines, it is 12%-14 %.

Higher the cost of the bottle and its alcohol content, it will attract a higher tax slab. D'Souza said tax on hard liquor bottles will vary from 20 to 3,400. There is a different tax slab for a bottle carrying alcohol content of 42-60 % (volume by volume).

Besides, IMFL and beer, the sale of foreign liquor and spirits and wines is also high. For 2015-16, the sale of wine was 3.15 lakh and 22.48 crore of foreign liquor and spirit.

The state has seen an upward swing in the sale of liquor since 2011-2012. On an average, 200 new licences are issued every year, said D'Souza. Total alcohol licences issued is 10,534.

7 Jun. 2016

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