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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Wednesday, December 02 2009. 13:32

Blog: Six Bottles of DutyFree Wine on Arrival- Part III

The initial cynicism and sniggering on my strong plea to the government for allowing 6 bottles of duty free wines on arrival in lieu of 2 bottles of hard liquor has waned and I have been  receiving a lot of positive feedback as many readers see the logic and endorse the concept.

Apparently even in Gujarat which unfortunately is a dry state, one can get a permit with a valid cause. Such permit holders are allowed 2 or 4 units of liquor per month. According to one of our readers from Gujarat, one unit officially translates to one 750 ml bottle of hard liquor, 3 bottles of wine or 10 bottles of beer. If one goes by that logic, we should rightly be entitled to bring 8 bottles of wine as 2 liters of hard liquor is allowed.

Another reader has pointed out that 24 cans of beer are allowed duty free. I could not check it out from the official sources but he informed me that stacks of 24-can boxes are lying outside the duty free shops. He just picks up one box and walks out through the green channel. The amount he travels, he reckons he would have been stopped quite a few times by now.  Apparently the sales persons at the shop have confirmed the same, Again, this makes a logical sense. Looking at the alcohol content, 24 cans is the logical choice.

This brings the focus back to wines and the number allowed should be 6 or 8. As it is, 3 is the number allowable, as wine is generally in 750 mL size bottles and 2 bottles make only 1.5 liters.

One can only hope that someone in the Finance or the Commerce ministry sees the logic and without further ado, change the number to 8 or at least 6. I would prefer the allowable bottles to be six because of the convenience of picking up a box of 6 bottles-several wines come in 6-bottles cases, especially Champagne.

Incidentally, similar logic is used when allowing the foreign diplomats duty free quotas for hard liquor and wine.

This decision will certainly motivate the duty free shops to keep better variety at better prices. Most travelers would pick up at the arrival lounge as it is not convenient to carry bottles unless they are checked in. This would in turn boost wine consumption, rather than whiskies etc.

I would appreciate your comments and thoughts and your assessment whether the government is logical and sensitive enough to take this action. My feeling is, it is possible, if the right quarters are made to understand the logic. What’s yours?

Cav. Subhash Arora



Ranjan Pal Says:

Totally agree with you but it will take an enlightened bureaucrat to agree and be willing to implement something like this. Much easier to say "two bottles of whatever" -makes it simpler for the dumb customs guys to follow as a rule.

Posted @ December 07, 2009 11:52


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