Panaji: Goa government on Wednesday classified 'Feni', a form of spirit produced exclusively in the coastal state, as "Heritage Spirit of Goa".
"Feni has achieved first geographical indication (GI) in Goa and is also the first liquor product in the country to obtain that status," Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar said during his budget speech in the Legislative Assembly.
Parsekar said Feni, a brew made from coconut or cashew, is synonymous with the Goan ethos and identity.
"It finds its uses in various cultural traditions, cuisines as well as it is famed for its medicinal use. This being the case, Feni should not have been categorised as country liquor as it is presently defined under the Goa Excise Duty Act, 1964.
"I, therefore, propose to give Feni its rightful and deserving status by declaring this spirit as the 'Heritage Spirit of Goa' and accordingly I propose to bring an amendment to the Goa Excise Duty Act, 1964 shortly," Parsekar said.
The Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers Association has hailed the move.
"We are thankful to government for this step. Calling Feni a country liquor was like calling a diamond a stone," Mac Vaz, president, Goa Cashew Feni Distillers and Bottlers' Association, told PTI.