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Mild beer to be available in Maharashtra stores
September 28, 2003 18:48 IST
Beer guzzler across Maharashtra can rejoice as the state government intends to make available the milder version of beer available in departmental stores.
The government has issued a notification to this effect, Excise Minister Anil Deshmukh told PTI in Mumbai, but denied the decision would mean that mild beer would be available even in grocery shops. Also, in an attempt to discourage consumption, the government had decided to levy more excise duty on strong beer.
"There will be a difference of Rs 10-12 between strong and mild beer," he said. The ratio of sale of strong and mild beer is 70:30.
Deshmukh, however, refused to give any estimate of the hike in revenue saying it all depended on the number of licences issued, but officials in the excise department claimed the move could net an additional Rs 50 crore.
With this decision, Maharashtra has probably become the only state where mild beer would be available in departmental stores. A similar move in Karnataka some time back had to be rescinded following widespread public outcry.
However, it appears the move does not enjoy total support within the ruling Democratic Front.
Congress legislator Ulhas Pawar, a close confidant of former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, has opposed the government's move. Former assembly speaker Bala Bharde and noted socialist G P Pradhan would also request the government to rollback its decision, Pawar said.
More reports from Maharashtra
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