The Maharashtra government has announced its decision to restart the Wine Industrial Promotion Scheme (WIPS) for the next five years, following its approval by the state cabinet. Originally launched in 2009 to foster the growth of the local wine industry, the initiative had been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic but is now poised to make a comeback.

In a conversation with CNBC-TV18, Jagdish Holkar, the President of the All India Wine Producers Association, shared that the cabinet recently decided to reinstate the scheme that has been supporting the industry since its inception in 2009. Holkar pointed out that the wine sector contributes significantly to the state’s revenue through value-added tax (VAT), a substantial portion of which has been eligible for a refund under WIPS. The program stipulates a 20% VAT for wineries, out of which 16% can be reclaimed as a rebate.

The revival of WIPS, approved on January 4, also includes provisions for retroactive VAT rebate refunds for wineries covering the last four fiscal years. This move is expected to provide considerable financial relief to the industry.

Sula Vineyards, one of the major players in Maharashtra’s wine market, stands to benefit significantly from the VAT rebate scheme. The company, known for its prominent market presence, is anticipated to receive a notable portion of the total VAT refunds distributed in the state.

Holkar expressed a positive outlook for the wine industry’s growth prospects, projecting a significant expansion in the coming years. He mentioned the association’s goal to elevate the industry to a much higher market value in the near future, indicating a bright outlook for wine producers in Maharashtra.