Panaji (Goa) [India], November 23 (ANI): Leader of the Opposition in the Goa Legislative Assembly, Digambar Kamat on Monday asked the state government to refrain from changing excise laws to facilitate entry of liquor barons and commercialisation of Feni.
Kamat said in a statement that "the art of making Feni" must be preserved at any cost.
"Feni has a tradition of production process and needs to be preserved with auctioning of cashew groves and setting up of pot stills, which is unique. The government must refrain from changing excise laws to facilitate entry of liquor barons and commercialisation of heritage drink of Goa. The art of making Feni must be preserved at any cost," Kamat said.
Feni is a famour spirit produced in Goa, which is available in two varieties -- cashew feni and toddy palm feni.
While accusing the Bharartiya Janata Party (BJP)-led state government of "killing age-old traditions and occupations", the former chief minister said the state government is going all out to commercialise everything.
"My government had started Goemche Daaiz scheme to encourage and preserve the traditional occupations of Goa. Today, it appears that BJP government is all out to commercialise everything killing age old traditions and occupations," he said.
The Leader of the Opposition further said it has come to his notice that the state government is trying to bring amendments in Excise Act for country liquor, which he said will "adversly affect Goa."
"I have come to know that government is trying to bring amendments and change in Excise Act for Country Liquor, which will adversly affect Goa," Kamat said.
"The All Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association, who are the co-owners of the G.I. for Cashew Feni and custodian and the voice of the stakeholders of the Cashew Feni Industry who uphold the right of the traditional stakeholders to continue their time-honored tradition to distilling the heritage drink of Goa needs to be taken into confidence along with all other stakeholders by the government before attempting to bring in any changes in the law," he said.
Kamat said, the unique tradition of auctioning of cashew groves and setting up of pot stills is unique to Goa and India.
"The tradition has been practiced unchanged for centuries and whose legacy has to be continued for generations to come in order that we safeguard the interest of the small and marginal artisanal distillers," he added. (ANI)