PANAJI: 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. 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, stated Leader of the Opposition Digambar Kamat.

“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,” charged Kamat.

“I have come to know that government is trying to bring amendments and changes in Excise Act for country liquor which will adversely affect Goa,” he said.

The  All Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association, who are the co-owners of the GI 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 honoured 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 law,Kamat demanded.

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.

Any change to the existing Excise Act or Rules will bring about senses of cultural disarray, economic insecurity, confusion and monopolistic culture which will have lasting detrimental effect on Goan traditional industry and Goa at large.