Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Church demands 900% increase in wine quota, excise rejects application

Times of India: Thiruvananthapuram: Tuesday, June 06, 2017.
The excise department returned an application from M Soosai Pakiam, the Latin Archbishop of Thiruvananthapuram, seeking enhancement in the annual quota for producing wine used for mass, from the existing 250 litres to 2,500 litres, saying it found the demand prima facie unreasonable.
In the reply given by the joint commissioner of excise, accessed by TOI under RTI Act, the department said that the increase in quota sought is disproportionate to the number of priests.
The application from Soosai Pakiam, who is also president of Kerala Catholic Bishops Council and a vocal votary of prohibition, says that there are 408 priests now and so the archdiocese should be permitted to brew 2,500 litres of wine per year.
In his reply, the joint excise commissioner's letter said, "The number of total priests has been enhanced by 77% but the request is to enhance annual quantity of mass wine by 900%.
"The requested quantity is not in proportion with the number of priests. You are therefore directed to clarify the above point".
The application that was returned in the first week of April has not elicited a reply from the diocese yet.