Govt examines demand to legalise wine making

Shillong, Nov 13: Chief Minister, Conrad K. Sangma on Wednesday said that his government will examine the long pending demand for legalizing wine making in the state.

“We are examining the matter but no decision has been taken (so far),” Sangma told reporters at the sidelines of the cabinet meeting held here.

Stating that the government is looking at big challenges, he said “We are trying to ensure that we plug the loopholes that are there in the system and those are being addressed right now and other issues where we can look at expanding other sources of revenue.”

It may be mentioned here that the Meghalaya Association of Wine Makers (MMAW) has been demanding the state government to legalize wine making for the past 17 years.

President of the association, Michael Syiem had said there are many people who are into wine making and now the ball is in the court of the government to legalize wine making and make it into an industry.

“If legalized, wine making will go a long way to boost horticulture, employment opportunity to educated unemployed youths and also revenue to the state government,” he said.

Syiem also recalled that the only time when the government seems to be interested was during the time of former excise minister, AT Mondal, who had sent officials of the department to states like Mizoram but after him, there has been no initiative on the matter.

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