International travellers may face bottlenecks to add a single litre of liquor and packets of cigarettes next time when they return from an overseas trip as the commerce and industry ministry has proposed to put a limit on the number of alcohol bottles and cigarette packets at the duty-free shelves, as reported by TOI.
There is also a cut in the value of goods and gifts one can get in without paying duty, currently set at Rs 50,000. The measures prepared by the commerce ministry are a set of proposals to decrease imports of non-essential items, said the TOI report.
The cigarette sticks that could be purchased were reduced from 200 to 100 and are further being slashed down while the alcohol bottles that were two litres are now proposed to be halved.
As per the report, the final decision regarding the same has not been taken yet but the proposal has triggered criticism as flyers usually buy from these duty-free shops. These products do not only cost less from the duty-free shops and are also believed to be authentic.
Piyush Goyal, the commerce and industry minister, confirmed the recommendation and mentioned that the objective was to align Indian rules with global standards and put a limit on the entry of sin goods.
Main Motive to Restrict Imports on Tobacco Products
The daily reported that private Indian operators, in order to maintain parity with other countries like Thailand, Dubai and Singapore, had sought a duty-free liquor allowance which is twofold of the current standard – that is from two to four litres.
The Association of Private Airport Operators, in its pre-budget submission, said, “Liquor allowance given in India is not on par with liquor allowance in neighbouring countries/Asia Pacific countries.”
The report said that the lobby group argued the increase in the business of duty-free products would lead to an increase in non-aero revenue which ultimately keeps the aero revenues paid by the passengers reasonable.
(With inputs from TOI.)