negative news reports from Maharashtra, Goa and the
expected increase in excise duties in Delhi shortly,
comes a bit of refreshing news from Himachal Pradesh
that the sales tax has been reduced from 20% to 12.5%,
reports Subhash Arora.
The change will be effective from
April 1 this year.
This new tax rate may not be as lucrative
for the consumer as the 4% VAT levied in the not-too-distant
Chandigarh which still has one of the most pro-active
and progressive wine policies and state taxes in India.
But it will help increase the sales of wine and reduce
Government of Delhi could take a
lesson from this move as the porous borders between
Haryana and Delhi will surely create a headache for
the city policing machinery if the duty and state
taxes are substantially different. Even now, Haryana
is vend-fee free while Delhi charges Rs.150 a bottle.
Delhi is expected to charge a levy of 25% on MRP in
a couple of days, as reported elsewhere on delWine.
In the meanwhile, the union budget
announced by P C Chidambaram on February 29 with no
change in duties has brought in cheers for the hotel
industry that was fearing a gradual imposition of
customs duty. DelWine had expressed its doubts on
the possible taxation due to the strong lobby and
the 2010 commonwealth games would make it easier for
the industry to ask for the continuation of the dole.
The decrease of CST from 3% to 2%
in the budget would mean a slight reduction in the
cost of moving cases from Delhi to Haryana and other
The Delhi consumers are also hopeful
of wine being finally allowed to be sold in the supermarkets.
This will help the sale of imported wines and the
domestic wine industry in a big way. The move has
support from the Indian wine industry. Says Rajeev
Samant of Sula,'we have nothing against wine sale
through supermarkets in Delhi, like we have nothing
against premium wines selling in Maharashtra without
any excise deterrents.'
Punjab, on the other hand is regressive
enough to have announced the increase in VAT from
the existing 4% to 12.5%, to fall in line with the
sales tax in HP.
Chandigarh, with a market of around
5000 cases, has announced no change in excise policy
except an increase in License fee for department stores
from 50,000 to Rs.100,000, effective April. This market
is growing with speed and importers are rushing to
catch the action. Says Chandigarh based Area Sales
Manager for Sula, Raman Nijhawan,' we plan to introduce
and promote our complete portfolio of imported wines
including Australian Hardys, South African Two Oceans
and the Chilean Gato Negro.'
With the existing scenario in the
country, the Sulas of India might be pursuing the
right policy of promoting entry level imported wines
only, complementing wines from their Nashik stable.
March 4, 2008