Govt legalises winemaking

SHILLONG: In a major boost to local vintners, the state government has legalised winemaking in the state by the approving a proposal to formulate rules on manufacture and sale of homemade fruit wines.
The demand for legalising winemaking in the state had been pending for 18 years with the Meghalaya Association of Wine Makers continuously demanding legalising their trade, but with little success.
The state government took the decision with the belief that giving a legal cover to the winemaking industry will also promote horticulture and tourism and generate additional revenue for the state.
Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma informed that the government will formulate rules to allow individuals to manufacture and sell wine in the market.
“This will help farmers besides promoting entrepreneurs who will get job opportunities,” he said.
In another shot to the arm of wine makers, the state government has decided to keep the tax on homemade fruit wine to only Rs 100 per case.
No VAT will be levied on the local wine and vintners can obtain winemaking license at Rs 7,500 per annum.
Sangma said individuals and cooperative societies or companies would be permitted to apply for the license.
The chief minister exuded confidence that the move will not only boost the wine sector in the state but will go a long way in helping farmers in the state who grow fruits.

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