Brewers urge State to reconsider excise hike on beer
Mumbai, May 2 (UNI) The All India Brewers Association has urged the Maharashtra Government to reconsider its decision to hike excise duty on beer.
Beer bottles are likely to cost Rs 13 more as a result of the hike which could induce beer drinkers to switch over to hard drinks, the association has contended.
Mr Shekhar Ramamurthy, vice president of the association, has alleged that there is a gross anamoly in the duty structure and the hike will impact the sale of beer this summer.
The State Government's decision will induce consumers to shift to hard liquor and, thus, defeat the Government's purpose of increasing revenue from beer sales, he said. Governments across the world are encouraging beer drinking instead of hard liquor but the State Government's move is contrary to the global trend, Mr Ramamurthy added.
Beer consumption in Maharashtra is about 1.60 crore cases of 12 bottles each and Mumbai accounts for 40 per cent of the sales in the State.
The State Excise Department has raised the duty on mild beer to Rs 15 per bulk litre or 100 per cent of the manufacturing cost, whichever is higher. Previously, the duty was Rs 12 per bulk litre or 75 per cent of the manufacturing cost, whichever was higher.
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