New Delhi: Private airport operators in the country have proposed to double the quantity of liquor a person can buy from duty free shops to four litres, on a par with countries like Thailand, Singapore and Dubai. In its proposal for Budget 2020-21, Association of Private Airport Operators (APAO) has said that sizeable business at duty free operations in South East Asia/Middle East region is through tourists that originate in India.

Further, Indian passengers purchase duty free goods outside India depriving opportunity to Indian duty free business. “Liquor allowance given in India is not at a par with liquor allowance in neighbouring countries/Asia Pacific countries,” the airports body has written to government ahead of Budget.

The APAO claimed that benefit of enhanced revenue will help airports bring down cost thereby passing the benefit of reduced cost to passengers.

Rajan Mehra, CEO of Club One Air and former India head of Qatar Airways said that the demand by airport firms has a lot of merit. “As it is liquor is available outside. It’s only that it’s a little more expensive and there is no guarantee of its genuinity. Whereas at duty free shops, consumers will be paying a little lower price and also get genuine products. So, I think it (higher liquor quota) should be looked at by the government,” Mehra said.

An airport executive noted that the move will enhance revenue of the Indian airports. “The whole idea is that the sales of Indian duty free shops increase,” he said.


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