Caution on UK-India FTA, trade lobby warns the government

Citing largescale increase in import of scotch whiskey from the United Kingdom, a leading alcohol beverage industry organisation has cautioned the government to “tread carefully” on the planned free trade agreement with the U.K.

“As per the Scotch Whiskey Association, India has become the largest export market globally for Scotch whiskey. This is also supported by the Government of India import data, which shows that the import of Scotch whiskey grew by 148% in the period April to September 2022 over the same period previous year,”

Vinod Giri, Director General of Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC). 

He also highlighted that the domestic industry in comparison to the massive increase in import of scotch whiskey, witnessed a growth of just over 20%.

Giri further highlighted that the growth in the sale of scotch whiskey even without the FTA between the U.K. and India places a question mark on the “very need for an FTA.”

“We also wish to highlight the importance of having a minimum entry price of $5 per bottle for a product to avail concessions under the FTA. In the absence of such safeguards, we might be bidding farewell to the domestic industry,” said Mr. Giri. 

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