In a major development, the Maharashtra cabinet on Thursday, January 27, announced to now allow the sale of wine in the supermarkets, departmental stores and grocery stores.
Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Nawab Malik said that the size of such shops must be over 1,000 square feet.
He also stated that this decision has been undertaken to help wine producers and farmers in the state. Moreover, with the new policy, the current sale of 70 lakh litres per year in the state is expected to go up to 1 crore litres under the new liberalised policy for retail sale.
Clarifying it’s stand on this decision, the government remarked that majority of wines have very low content of pure spirits as compared to other liquors. Also, a large number of restaurants and bakeries use wine for food making. Therefore, there is a demand for canned wine to be sold like other grocery items.
As per accounts, the state government mentioned that it will charge per bulk litre nominal excise duty of INR 10 on all types of wine bottles. This will earn only INR 5 crores revenue for the state but will help the excise administration know the amount of wine bottles sold in the market.
Maharashtra has around 45 operational wineries. The existing wine policy, which allows sale of wine only through exclusive liquor stores, has been in force for the last 20 years. The policy has been lapsed and therefore, the government has brought in a revised policy.
Earlier sale of wine was allowed only through liquor stores.