India's beer lobby calls for tax law rethink - report
India's beer industry has called on the government to end laws that tax the category at the same rate as spirits, according to a report.
The All India Brewers Association (AIBA) said taxing drinks on the basis of percentage of alcohol content, instead of at a flat rate, would promote responsible drinking, the Press Trust of India (PTI) reported at the weekend. In most Indian states, beer and spirits are taxed at the same rate, and the association argued this pushes consumers towards buying higher strength spirits.
According to the PTI, the beer industry pays tax ranging from 25% to 65%, depending on state laws.
"Countries like France tax spirits five times higher than beer and Germany taxes six times higher,” AIBA chairman Chris White said. “The reason being hard liquor has greater negative consequences for public health than beer.”
White added that India's beer taxes are the highest in the world.
The beer industry has made "several representations to the government" over its demands, according to the report.
In August, Kerala state outlined its first steps to outlawing alcohol, with a complete ban expected in ten years.
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