Import of foreign alcohol falls this Dashain

Kathmandu, October 13

Import of foreign alcohol products has declined this festive season. Generally alcohol consumption increases during the festivals and so does the import of alcohol. Most people consume alcohol as part of celebrating festivals. A large number of people who do not consume alcohol regularly in normal times tend to do so during Dashain and Tihar. Moreover, the culture of giving alcohol as gift during the festivals is also emerging in recent years.

“This is the major season for importing alcohol in the country due to the festivals, however in this Dashain alcohol import has declined,” said Ravi KC, former president of Federation of Liquor Associations Nepal (FLAN). He further said that the supply of all kinds of liquor products including whiskey, vodka, beer and others have declined this year.

According to the Department of Customs (DoC), alcohol products worth Rs 3.42 billion has been imported in the first two months of the current fiscal year while during the same period last year alcohol products worth Rs 4.10 billion had been imported.

Each year the government has been increasing taxes and excise duty on tobacco and liquor, which is also a major reason for imports declining. Moreover, the increasing number of local alcoholic beverages that are of good quality is also another reason behind the decline in foreign alcohol sales, KC added. According to the liquor dealers, consumers are looking for Nepali products more than foreign liquor products in recent times.

“Previously, consumers used to buy foreign products more. However, this Dashain more Nepali products are being sold than foreign brands,” said Ram Krishan Dangol, liquor dealer from Old Baneshwor. As Nepali products are affordable and are of good quality most people are preferring domestic products rather than imported alcohol, he added.

Dangol added that from whiskey to beer, all kinds of domestic liquor products, are available in the market at a lower price. Old Durbar, Mt 8848, The Himalayan Reserve, Golden Oak, Nepal Ice and Everest are some of the local liquor products available in the market.