The state cabinet on Wednesday 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 six lakh tonne of cashew fruits are produced and nearly 53 litres of alcohol is produced from each tonne. In the case of mahua flowers, the state produces 1.17 lakh tonne; about 320 litres of alcohol is produced from a tonne. The state government expects an 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, there are limitations on marketing and value addition. After bringing it in the foreign liquor category, production can be increased and producers can 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 farmers can now produce liquor from jamun fruit, grapes and custard apple under the 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. 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.