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Goa tax on feni: GFP demands withdrawal, threatens agitation

PTI Panaji 18 February 2020 08:33 IST
Updated: 18 February 2020 08:33 IST

‘Govt. has not made any effort to popularise heritage drink’

The Goa Forward Party (GFP) on Monday asked the Pramod Sawant government to withdraw the tax on feni announced in the State budget for 2020-21, and warned of an agitation if the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party did not do so.

First such tax

It is the first time that a tax, announced in the budget tabled in the Assembly on February 6, will be levied on the popular Goan beverage made from fermented and distilled juice of cashew apples, or from coconuts.

The tax is expected to increases price per bottle by almost 50%, and distillers and bottlers had earlier said the hike would impact sales of the alcoholic drink.

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Talking to reporters in Margao, GFP chief Vijai Sardesai said the State government should withdraw the feni tax by the end of the Carnival, scheduled from February 22 to 25, or face an agitation.

“Feni contributes only 1% of excise revenue collected by the State annually. Feni is made by Goans for Goans. The State government has not made any effort to popularise it after giving it the heritage drink status. This tax will also affect private players who want to make the drink popular,” Mr. Sardesai said.

Coconut feni worst hit

He said the coconut feni industry would be the worst hit, as it would amount to double taxation because farmers already pay tax when they bid for cashew plantations for harvesting at auctions.

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