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SHILLONG | SEPT 24, 2020:
The Meghalaya Cabinet on Thursday decided to legalise winemaking in the state by approving the proposal to plan out rules on introducing the manufacture and sale of homemade fruit wines. For the past 18 years, the Meghalaya Association of Wine Makers (MMAW) has been spearheading the demand to legalise winemaking in the state.
The Cabinet's decision may be attributed to the theory that the state government has finally realised the potential of winemaking and how it can promote horticulture, tourism and generate revenue for people of the state.
While addressing reporters, Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma stated that the state government will formally formulate rules where individuals can now make homemade wines and sell in the market. According to him, this will be an enormous boost for farmers and entrepreneurs. He further said that the state government would ensure that the ad valorem for fruit wine producers will be less as compared to other products.
The CM informed that the ad valorem fees will be only Rs 100 per case and that they will levy no VAT on these producers, adding that the license fees for these producers will be Rs 7,500 per annum. Sangma said that these can be opened by individuals from different cooperative societies or companies who would start the manufacturing and sale of homemade fruit wine.
"This will not only boost the wine sector in the state but will also go a long way in helping the farmers who produce a lot of fruits in the state," Sangma said.