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ACI Asia-Pacific urges Commerce Ministry to maintain 'status quo' on existing per passenger duty-free liquor allowance

Hyderabad, Jan 23 (UNI) Airports Council International (ACI) Asia-Pacific urged the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industry to maintain 'status quo' on the existing per passenger duty-free liquor allowance of two litres and one carton of cigarettes.
The Ministry’s proposal is inconsistent with the government’s fruitful efforts to date to incentivize private capital in the public sector and will damage the growth trajectory of Indian airports and duty-free providers, ACI said in a statement on Thursday.

The Ministry proposes to restrict the purchase of tax-free alcohol at airport duty-free shops to one litre bottle and restricts the purchase of cigarette cartons at these shops. The ACI urged the authorities to reject this proposal.
Not only is it inconsistent with the latest attempts by the Government to incentivize private capital to invest in the Airport industry but it undermines the growth opportunity for Indian airports and duty-free providers who are a driving force in the local airport economy,” Mr. Stefano Baronci, Director General, ACI Asia-Pacific said.
“Duty-free operators must be able to count on the expansion of airport infrastructure along with new retail space and a regulatory framework that incentivizes the market to grow, the ACI observed.

Unfortunately, the Ministry’s proposal will limit this objective if Airports cannot generate non-aeronautical revenues to cover aeronautical cost, It said.
The Ministry’s proposal to reduce the import of duty-free goods runs the risk of having the opposite effect because it neglects the potential adverse impact it may have on the growth of commercial business, the ACI said.
Indian airports have tremendous growth potential in terms of duty-free and travel retail. Wine and spirits is the top duty-free segment in India.

According to the 2018 World Air Traffic Report published by ACI, passenger traffic in India will grow by 6.1 per cent every year until 2040.

Within an unconstrained scenario, it is forecasted that the spending in duty-free and travel retail will grow by 20 per cent to US$2.1 billion in 2022.
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