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Indian states seek prohibition

Published:  23 July, 2008

Indian states may be individually seeking to introduce a prohibition on alcohol to protect the poor, Vijay Mallya, chair of the UB Group, warned delegates at the World Whiskies Conference.

Meanwhile, although the SWA has welcomed India's reform of the discriminatory additional customs duty, it is still fighting to reduce a tariff of 150% on Scotch, which is way above the international standard and levels in other emerging markets, according to the association.

Paul Walsh, Diageo chief executive and chair of the SWA told delegates at the conference that during his recent visit to India where he met Kamal Nath, the Indian commerce minister, he was "encouraged" that at the highest level there is a recognition that India needs to continue to open itself up to foreign investment and business, and that international obligations must be met.

"This can only be good news for Indian consumers who want to have the same opportunities to purchase premium spirit drinks as enjoyed by consumers in other emerging markets.

"The EU-India Free Trade Agreement talks will be an early test of India's commitment," he said.