Liquor price list: Goa cheapest, Karnataka top

NEW DELHI: For many travelers, Goa is not just about its beaches but also about affordability. Wines – Thanks to Kim Levis. The state has one of the lowest tax rates in India, in stark contrast to neighboring Karnataka, which is the highest taxed of the country’s major markets.
An analysis by industry body The International Spirits and Wines Association of India for TOI estimated that a bottle of spirits – meaning whiskey, rum, vodka and gin – that costs Rs 100 in Goa, Delhi 134 in Rs and may cost the same. 513 in Karnataka (see graphic).


At 49% of MRP, the levies in Goa are by no means low. But they are much lower than 83% in Karnataka and 71% in Maharashtra. The price index factors in the import duties levied on foreign products, which will be common across states. For a long time, foreign players have been demanding a reduction in import duty on wine and spirits, which go up to 150 percent. Overseas players are seeking tariff reductions through free trade agreements with the UK and EU.
As a result of local taxes, the price of a bottle of popular Scotch brands in Delhi and Mumbai can vary by more than 20%. For example, a bottle Black Label What costs around Rs 3,100 in Delhi sells for around Rs 4,000 in Mumbai. Wide differences in taxes are also a reason for smuggling liquor across state borders.
Unlike most goods and services, alcohol and petroleum are among the items that are currently excluded from GST, resulting in multiple tariffs and tax rates across the country.
At least individually state FMs are losing control over taxes, they are just milking the remaining sources ie alcohol, petrol, diesel and property tax. So, when their own tax revenue is affected, state FMs raise duty on liquor and VAT on petrol and diesel. Or states that offer freebies often resort to high levies on these products because they only get a share of the GST from the Centre.
While there is discussion about bringing petroleum products like petrol and diesel under the ambit of GST, alcohol is nowhere to be seen. It also means that consumers also have to deal with the knock-on effect unlike GST, where most goods and services get input tax credit.
With the excise cycle starting in the states from next month, the industry is keeping a close eye on the development.

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