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Saturday, December 3, 2022

ISWAI Urges Andhra Pradesh Government to Make National Brands Available to Cater to Consumer Drinking Preferences

Progressive Tourism Policy and Awareness on Responsible Alcohol Consumption is a Compelling Need

Andhra Pradesh : Welcoming the new liquor policy of the Andhra Pradesh (AP) Government, moving away from Prohibition to Restriction (Nishedham to Niyantran), International Spirits & Wines Association of India (ISWAI) today urged the AP government to allow choice of Indian-Made Foreign Liquor for the citizens of AP. This will offer a wider choice to the people of AP as well as for tourists in the state.

Appreciating AP’s liquor policy, Ms. Nita Kapoor, Chief Executive Officer, ISWAI said “A progressive tourism policy is the need of the hour. AlcoBev industry plays a vital role in promoting Travel and Tourism industry. 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.”


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/Café (HoReCa). Andhra Pradesh aspires to be a major tourism and industrial hub, and the government can draw important lessons from the Kerala AlcoBev sector experience.

Emphasising on the need to allow choice of products to consumers, Mr. 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. This 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 further 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.”

Stressing on the commitment of ISWAI in building a culture of responsible drinking, Ms. Nita Kapoor further added; “A phased and responsible alcohol consumption policy will be a key driver to promote tourism. To address irresponsible drinking and abuse of alcohol, the policy of restriction needs to go hand in hand with a sustained long-term awareness and education campaign on Responsible Drinking. ISWAI will be happy to partner with the AP government in this important campaign.”

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