The government of the Indian state of Maharashtra has decided to raise the special excise duty on imported wines from the existing INR100 (US$2.26) a litre to INR200.

Maharashtra is the largest producer of wine grapes in India. The hike is seen as a boost to grape farmers and winemakers in the state.

The market for imported wines in Maharashtra stands at 30,000 cases a year against 200,000 cases of domestic wines. The special excise duty on wines is now almost in line with that on imported spirits. In essence, the total tax on imported wine is over 400% of the price of the import.