BENGALURU: Taking a cue from neighbouring Maharashtra, the Karnataka government is thinking of allowing sale of wine in big stores and supermarkets, and in the process, give grape producers a leg-up. At present, only registered wine stores are allowed to sell wine in the state.
Karnataka is the second largest grape grower in India, behind Maharashtra, producing around three lakh metric tonnes of grapes in over 16,000 hectares of land. On Thursday, the Maharashtra cabinet approved sale of wine in stores and supermarkets which are spread across 100 sqmt area. The Maharashtra government believes that this new move will help grape farmers as well as industries.
Speaking to The New Indian Express, Karnataka Excise Minister K Gopalaiah said a team of officials from his department will visit Maharashtra soon to study the pros and cons of such a move. “We need to get a ground report. If this initiative helps people as well as the government, we can consider implementing it in Karnataka,” he said.
Sources in the Excise Department said Karnataka is likely to adopt this method. “We are not allowing consumption of wine in stores, but only sale. We can expect good revenue. Once we get a report on the Maharashtra model, and if it is feasible, it will be placed before the cabinet,” an official said.
Sometime back, the Karnataka government had proposed to start online sale and home delivery of liquor. However, the minister ruled out any such proposal for now.