Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], January 30 (ANI): After the Maharashtra government’s assent to the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores, Karnataka Excise Minister K Gopalaiah on Sunday said that the state government will send a team to study it, and will decide the implementation of the same thereof.

In a telephonic conversation with ANI, Gopalaiah said, “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 just because Maharashtra has, he said, “We will have to see if it helps the government and also that it does not affect businesses.”

Adding to it, the 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.
Opining that converting the wine business to an open market won’t be good, Hegde said, “There will be no control. This is not a better option. Government can help growers and wine producers in several ways, but not by selling wine in departmental stores.”

He also said that sale of wine is more in urban areas compared to rural. “If the Karnataka government does what Maharashtra is doing, there might be a 5-10 per cent dip in sale of wine boutiques. In Karnataka, there is no necessity of trading by looking at other states,” he added.

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Emphasising that the state has a systematic distribution and retail sale of liquor and wine, Hegde said, “Many states have come to study this (Karnataka’s system of distribution and retail sale). Here customers get all the brands, whereas, in other states, there are limited brands.”

Maharashtra on Thursday cleared a proposal to sell wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores across the state at a flat annual licensing fee of Rs 5,000. According to the state cabinet, the decision is aimed to ensure a more accessible marketing channel for Indian wineries. (ANI)

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