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Food For Thought

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What the food processing and beverages industry is expecting from the Union Budget 2012:

Devendra Shah, Chairman, Parag Milk Foods Pvt Ltd 

Budget should emphasis on Foods Processing industries especially in development of dairy industries & dairy infrastructure.

Govt has declared subsidies on cold chain policies, instead should give the benefits directly to the manufacturers or suppliers also look that how the things can be easier.

Government should invest in cow productivity infrastructure, genetic improvement, embryo transfer technology & should take initiatives on the same.

Amrit Kiran Singh, Area Director and VP, Brown Forman Beverages Worldwide & also Chairman, International Spirits and Wines Association Of India

As a member of the beverage alcohol industry, I hope to see a significant reduction on customs duty. At its current level of almost 160 per cent, it is the highest in the world. Even China, which has a very strong local industry, has 10 per cent duty. What this ridiculous level of customs duty does is that it makes the " bootlegger" laugh all the way to the bank and forces Indians to be dishonest. 

High duty serves no purpose: 1) It does not protect domestic industry. Almost 99 per cent of domestic spirits brands sell for less than Rs 600 for a 750 ml bottle. Imported spirits on the other hand operate mainly, at price points over Rs 1000 per bottle. So no clash, hence no protection required. 

2) Such ridiculously high duties do not  even increase the governments revenue collection , as the vast majority of consumers do not make purchases at these ridiculously high prices and go to cheaper illegal sources.