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Mizoram wine makers in sale trouble

Aizawl, February 19 (NNN): Mizoram's Hnahlan and Champhai Grape Growers’ Society is concerned at the low sale of the locally-brewed grape wine, ‘Zawlaidi’.
Members of Hnahlan Grape Grower Society said that so far that have sold 37 thousand 8 hundred bottles out of 2 lakh bottles produced by them this season. They could not pay farmers for the grapes in the last harvest season, it was informed.
General Secretary of Champhai Grape Growers Society R Thangseia said their sale till today is only 6, 960 bottles out of their total production of 1 lakh 5 thousand bottles. He said dues of Rs 55 lakh for procuring grapes from the farmers is yet to be cleared. The low sale is attributed to high rate of VAT and Excise duties which raised retail price to over 190 rupees per bottle and reduction of its alcoholic content from 14 percent to 11 percent, as directed by the church.
During the year 2010, after 13 years of prohibiting grape cultivators from producing wine Mizoram brought out Zawlaidi, a locally-manufactured grape wine, that resulted from the enthusiasm fuelled by the amendment of the Mizoram Liquor Total Prohibition (MLTP) Act. The Act had prevented the wine manufacturers from large-scale commercialisation of their products and wine-making from grapes.

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