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ISWAI urges AP Govt to allow liquor consumers have choice of brands

Amaravati, Aug 30 (PTI): International Spirits & Wines Association of India (ISWAI) on Monday urged the Andhra Pradesh Government to allow choice of Indian-Made Foreign Liquor brands for the citizens of the state, a press release from the Association said.Nita Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer, ISWAI said a progressive tourism policy is the need of the hour and AlcoBev industry (alcoholic beverage) plays a vital role in promoting Travel and Tourism industry.

Promotion

“The tourism policy with proposed new shops earmarked for tourist destinations that already have AP Tourism Hotels & Resorts will bring significant revenues to the state government and create economic opportunities. It is therefore imperative to ensure availability of Indian-made foreign liquor brands to local consumers and tourists, offering them wider choice and superior customer experience. This will play a significant role in promoting and developing the tourism ecosystem,” she said.

It is critical to learn from the Kerala state experience, where prohibition in the AlcoBev sector led to a loss in the state revenue, a decline in national and international tourism, thereby resulting in job losses in the industry value chain, especially in the Hospitality and Hotel/Restaurant/Cafe (HoReCa), she said.

Andhra Pradesh aspires to be a major tourism and industrial hub, and the government can draw important lessons from the Kerala AlcoBev sector experience, the ISWAI suggested.

Suresh Menon, Secretary-General, ISWAI said, the state government should not discriminate between the new local brands and the historically popular national brands, most of which are also produced locally within the State.

The curtailment of consumer preferences will only promote illegal movement of products and encourage spurious and counterfeit liquor that will ultimately harm the consumers, besides impacting state revenues, he added.

“The AP AlcoBev industry is a significant contributor to own tax revenues of the state as also in most states across the country. The state has high levels of dependence on revenues from the AlcoBev sector. The industry has immense potential to create huge economic development on multiple fronts. Building a collaborative and conducive environment for all producers of Indian-made foreign liquor is therefore important for generating state revenues and creating a fair business environment,” Menon said.

The organisation welcomes the new liquor policy of AP, that is moving away from Prohibition to Restriction (Nishedham to Niyantran), the ISWAI said. PTI GDK

The above news was originally posted on www.outlookindia.com

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