If the Ministry of Aviation accepts the proposal from the members of the consultative committee, Indian beer and wine may soon be available in the airlines flying the Indian skies.
At least 3 MPs who are members of this advisory committed actively sought the ban on serving liquor in the air to be removed. Sighting the example of US where the airlines were allowed to sell small bottles they urged the ministry to allow the serving of beer and wine produced in India. Any guilt or political incorrectness could be counterbalanced by the fact that it will help improve the lot of the Indian farmer, they believe.
Backing the call to allow this sale, an independent MP from Haryana, Tarlochan Singh said it was a global practice. He suggested that the government should allow serving small bottles of Indian brands and restrict it to maybe one a passenger.
A prominent Congress MP is also known to have supported the proposal which was also attended by Sonia Gandhi's MP son Rahul Gandhi, Rajeev Shukla, Deepinder Hooda, M S Gill, and Santosh Bagrodia.
Said the f ormer Chairman of the Election Commission and now a Congress Rajya Sabha MP, M S Gill, "Members from Maharashtra raised the issue saying the government should consider allowing Indian wine on domestic flights in the interest of horticulture farmers. Wine-making is a great Indian industry and should be promoted. Agreeing with the argument, I also supported the demand."
Aviation Minister Praful Patel, member of the NCP, a party which is a part of the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, agreed to consider the demand as there was no opposition at the meeting.
Beer, liquor and now air baron Vijay Mallya who also owns Kingfisher beer brand and the flourishing airline and has recently acquired air Deccan Air is also a member of the committee but was not present at the meeting held on Wednesday. He has already raised the demand for allowing alcohol on domestic flights, He stands to gain the most from this decision as he produces Indian beer and wine and is flying higher to become the number one airline company in India.
The bias towards hard liquor in India is so strong that the newspaper reporting the news item screamed with headlines, 'For Farmers' sake. MPs want liquor on flights' and 'Liquor on flights will help promote local wine industry.' Over 120 million cases (12 bottles) of liquor are consumed against less than a million of wine.