The Commerce Ministry has advocated restricting purchase of tax free alcohol to one bottle at duty free store as part of steps to make cutbacks in import of non essential goods.
The ministry has also advised its finance counterpart that buying of cigarette cartons at duty free stores should be banned.
These suggestions are part of proposals put forth by the commerce ministry for the umcoming budget, which would be presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 1st February.
Presently, inbound international travellers are permitted to make a purchase of two litres of alcohol and a carton of cigarette from these stores. As maintained by sources, there are countires that permit only one litre of alcohol to international passengers and the same procedure can be followed in India.
This recommendation assumes importance as the government is examining various ways to decrease import of non essential goods into the nation to restrain trade deficit.
A duty free store is where an inbound international passengers can usually buy items worth about Rs 50,000 without paying out any import duty.
The commerce ministry has also recommended rise in customs duty on several goods like paper, footwear, rubber items and toys to promote 'Make in India' and boost manufacturing growth, sources said. The ministry has proposed rationalisation of basic customs or import duty on over 300 items from different sectors, including furniture, chemicals, rubber, coated paper and paper boards.