Despite promising to give subsidy for manufacturing liquor from food grains and issuing a government resolution to the effect, the government has failed to implement it, alleged distillery owners from the state.
Owners of 12 distilleries who set up units to manufacture liquor from food grains filed a petition in the Bombay high court alleging the government is backtracking from its promise and not giving them subsidy.
Anand Distilleries Private Limited, Grynaut Distilleries Private Limited and other manufacturers mainly from the Vidarbha and Marathwada region, filed the petition seeking the government should be directed to give subsidy as per the 2007 resolution.
In 2007, when Vilasrao Deshmukh was chief minister, the government had floated the subsidy scheme for food grain-based liquor to encourage farmers to grow food crops.
A division bench of chief justice Mohit Shah and justice
SJ Vazifdar issued a notice to the government and asked additional government pleader,
Vijay Patil, to file a reply by February 1.
Ashutosh Kumbhkoni, counsel for the distilleries, argued that the government charges them Rs 450 for every bulk litre as excise. From this, the government is to charge Rs 10
less, which would be treated as a subsidy. The government has been charging them the entire excise amount, alleged Kumbhkoni.
With this kind of subsidy, each distillery will save approximately Rs 5 crore, which will indirectly benefit the farmers.
Kumbhkoni argued that the manufacturers have taken huge loans from banks and spent Rs 150 crore each on setting up the distilleries in the backward regions of Vidarbha and Marathwada. With the government not extending the subsidies, the manufacturers are suffering huge losses. If the situation continues, then manufacturers will have to wind up the distilleries, argued Kumbhkoni.
Kumbhkoni argued that the government often fails to implement its own policies for the benefit some of its politicians.
“The petition explains why the investors are shifting to areas in Gandhinagar and investing in Gujarat and not in the state of Maharashtra,” argued Kumbhkoni.
This was in the light of Anil Ambani announcing an investment of Rs 50,000 crore in Gujarat recently. By not keeping the promises, the state government is only dissuading the investors from coming to the state and setting up industries, added Kumbhkoni.