Goa government wants to let you carry more booze on your way back
The Goa government wants visitors to the coastal state to be able to return with more than just the two bottles of liquor that are currently permitted.
Chief minister Pramod Sawant said on Tuesday, while speaking in the Goa assembly, that the government hopes to cash in on allowing tourists to return with more liquor, something, he said, they were doing anyway, albeit illegally.
“We want to give permits that allow carrying more than two bottles. Today, they are allowed to carry one bottle of IMFL (Indian-made Foreign Liquor) and one of local liquor. We want to promote Goan liquor. Our revenue will also grow,” Sawant said.
Goa earns around Rs 500 crore through various excise charges primarily on the sale of liquor. Cashew feni, a local drink brewed from the cashew fruit, has been granted a Geographical Indicator tag (GI) and the government is also making an effort to promote the drink by labelling it as a “heritage drink”.
The chief minister, however, cautioned that such a move would require the consent of both neighbouring states Karnataka and Maharashtra.
With liquor much cheaper in Goa than in Karnataka or Maharashtra smuggling is rampant across the porous borders, but also a favourite memoir visitors want to return with after they visit the state.
Leader of Opposition Digambar Kamat suggested that the state government should not restrict it to three or four bottles but should allow them to carry back even more if it was profitable for the state.
There are more than 6,000 liquor vendors in Goa and the availability of cheap liquor is one of the big draws for tourists from other parts of the country.