Karnataka to send team to Maharashtra to study wine selling in supermarkets

Published on Jan 31, 2022 08:54 AM IST

Karnataka’s excise minister K Gopalaiah said it is not necessary that the his government will adopt Maharashtra's model. He added that the decision will be based on the report the panel submits.

The Maharashtra government has allowed the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores.(Rahul Raut/HT File Photo)
The Maharashtra government has allowed the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores.(Rahul Raut/HT File Photo)
By | Written by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

The Karnataka government will send a team to Maharashtra to study the model it adopted for sale of wine. Karnataka’s excise minister K Gopalaiah said on Sunday that his government will decide the implementation of the model based on the report of the committees.

Last Tuesday, Maharashtra gave a nod to allow sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores at a flat annual licensing fee of 5,000. According to the state cabinet, the decision is aimed to ensure a more accessible marketing channel for Indian wineries.

Speaking about it, Gopalaiah told news agency ANI, “It is newly introduced. We will send a committee to study it and will make a decision based on their report."

Underlining that it is not necessary that the Karnataka government will adopt the same model just because Maharashtra has, he said, "We will have to see if it helps the government and also that it does not affect businesses."

Vice president of the Federation of Wine Merchants of Karnataka, Karunakar Hegde told ANI that the grape wine production in the state is not as high as Maharashtra's. "There are more wine growers in Maharashtra. In Karnataka, there are a maximum of around 5 per cent wine traders. There are very few wineries here," he said.

Hegde, however, said that converting the swine business to an open market won't be good, adding that there will be no control.

The Maharashtra government’s decision had led to a war of words between the Shiv Sena-led three-party alliance which is in power in the state and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

The BJP has linked the decision to Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s business. On Sunday, BJP leader Kirit Somaiya said Raut’s family members entered into a partnership with a company named Magpie DFS private limited, which was involved in wine distribution last year.

Raut responded, saying there is nothing wrong if someone is in a legitimate business and BJP leaders will have to go underground if he starts revealing their businesses.

On Thursday, former chief minister and leader of opposition Devendra Fadnavis said that the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government is converting Maharashtra into ‘Madya Rashtra’ or a nation of liquor. The Congress, which is part of the ruling dispensation in Maharashtra, responded saying that the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh had taken a similar decision that covered not just wine made from grapes, mead, fruits and flowers, but all kinds of liquor.

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