Alcohol made from cashew nuts and mahua flowers in Maharashtra will be categorized as foreign alcohol made in India, as the “country alcohol” label hampers its market reach and brand image.
The decision will benefit farmers, the state government will generate additional excise duties and new employment opportunities will be created, according to a government press release. The state cabinet on Wednesday approved the new categorization of alcohol in a bid to boost the sector. Since 2005, liquor made from cashew nuts and mahua flowers has been classified as country liquor, but will now be classified as foreign liquor made in India and produced locally, the government has announced.
The manufacture of Mahua flower liqueur is an important sector in Maharashtra; cashew nuts grown in the Konkan region and Goa are used by the alcohol industry for distillation.
A 2019 report titled “Magnitude of Substance Use in India”, sponsored by the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, indicates that nationally, approximately 16 million people (aged 10-75) use the alcohol. Consumption is 17 times higher in men than in women. Traditional spirits (about 30%) and foreign spirits made in India (about 30%) were the most popular alcoholic beverages.
April 21, 2022