Scotch Whisky welcomes 50% tax cut in India

The Scotch Whisky Association (SWA) has welcomed the 50% excise duty cut on imported Scotch Whisky in the state of Maharashtra ahead of formal UK-India trade talks starting.

The Maharashtra government has cut excise duty on Scotch Whisky from 300% to 150% of the manufacturing cost.

The Scotch Whisky industry is campaigning to reduce the 150% federal tariff on imported Scotch Whisky, which the UK government has made a priority in upcoming trade talks with Indian authorities.

Maharashtra government officials said that the excise cut would help reduce the illicit trade of Scotch Whisky and other spirits from other states, and double state revenue from sales.

Last month, the SWA joined the UK government on a visit to Mumbai in Maharashtra to build links with state and federal officials to increase exports of Scotch Whisky to India.

SWA International Director Ian McKendrick said: “This is a step in the right direction and welcome recognition from Indian authorities that revenue can be boosted by reducing trade barriers for Scotch Whisky.

“The industry hopes that the future UK-India trade talks can build on this progress at federal level and reduce the current 150% tariff on imported Scotch Whisky.

“A phased reduction in the import tariff would unlock well over £1bn of export growth for Scotch Whisky over the first five years, and have a knock on boost to state and federal revenue in India.”