The Maharashtra government on Thursday allowed the sale of wine in supermarkets and walk-in stores in the state. The decision was taken to give a boost to fruit-based wineries which provide additional income to farmers, Minister for Skill Development Nawab Malik told reporters.
A statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said “shelf-in-shop” method will be adopted in supermarkets and walk-in-stores which have area of 100 sq mt or more and which are registered under the Maharashtra Shops and Establishments Act.
Currently, the state allows the sale of wine only through liquor stores. According to reports, 65 percent units of the wine industry in the country are located in the state, with a majority of them in Nashik, Sangli, Pune, Solapur, Buldhana and Ahmednagar.
But the supermarkets which are near places of worship or educational institutions can not sell wine. Further, wine sale will not be allowed in the districts where prohibition is in force. Supermarkets will have to be pay a fee of Rs 5,000 for selling wine.
However, the opposition parties including BJP have slammed the decision, saying that the government was promoting liquor.
BJP leader and former CM Devendra Fadnavis criticized the decision, saying the government had rolled back prohibition.
“We will not allow Maharashtra to become a Madya-rashtra (‘liquor state’),” he said. The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government did not help people during two years of the pandemic but its “priority is promoting the sale of liquor,” the former chief minister said.