In a major policy decision, the state cabinet on Wednesday has approved changing the category of production of liquor from cashew fruits and mahua flowers to foreign liquor from country liquor. The manufacturers will have to acquire distillation license and foreign liquor manufacturing license from the state excise department. These licenses will be provided under the single window scheme.
In Maharashtra, about 6 lakh tonnes of cashew fruits are produced and nearly 53 litres of alcohol is produced from one ton of cashew fruit. In the case of mahua flowers, the state produces 1.17 lakh tonnes. About 320 litres of alcohol is produced from 1 ton of mahua flower.
The state government expects additional revenue of Rs 400 crore through excise duty in due course of time.
A senior state excise department officer told the Free Press Journal, ‘’At present, as liquor produced from cashew fruits and mahua flowers are under the category of country liquor, there are limitations on its marketing and value addition. After bringing it in the foreign liquor category, the producers can increase their production and go in for extensive marketing and value addition. This will help increase the income of the farmers and also the state government in terms of higher excise duty collection.’’ He said that the farmers can now produce liquor from jamun fruit, grapes and custard apple under foreign liquor category and market them by value addition.
Further, the cabinet also approved the creation of two new categories for sealed foreign liquor retail licenses including Super Premium Outlet and Elite Outlet in the state on the basis of area as well as facilities. This will be done without increasing the number of retail outlets for foreign liquor. As per today’s decision, the existing licenses can be upgraded to Super Premium Outlet and Elite Outlet.
For Super Premium Outlet license, 601 sq mt area will be mandatory and for Elite Outlet a minimum area of 71 sq mt and maximum area of 600 sq mt will be required.
Published on: Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 09:45 PM IST