The Pramod Sawant government has been hit by the beer lobby of Goa due to its decision to increase excise duty on the beverage. The beer firms argued that the state is indirectly pushing new consumers towards stronger liquor. They stated that the government should tax hard spirits and strong liquor, and reduce excise duty on mild beer which has less than 5 per cent alcohol content.
Due to favourable pricing strategy and tropical climate, Goa remains inclined towards mild beer consumption. If beer becomes expensive, the consumer inclination would change.
Goa is also known for its liberal excise regime and attracts over eight million domestic and international tourists annually. For alcohol consumption at a bar or restaurant, beer prices will surge since apart from the excise duty, 22 per cent VAT will also be levied at bars and restaurants.
The India Beer Market Outlook 2023 report estimates that beer consumption is predicted to grow by more than six per cent, and consumers would be expected to shift to premium brands and craft beers. Micro-breweries would be dealt with a heavy blow due to the excise duty hike.