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Kerala: Catholic Church wants permission to produce more wine

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

A Catholic Church named Syro Malabar Church in Kochi, Kerala, which earlier had supported the government to prohibit the sacramental wine, has recently been drowned in controversy by asking for permission to increase the production of sacramental wine.

The church is grabbing all the attention of different news channels since last week after the news came up floating that the church authorities had applied for a permission to increase the production of wine.

“Yes, we had applied for increase in production of sacramental wine used during our mass. Our diocese currently has an annual production of 1,500 litres of wine, which was last increased over 20 years ago. This time we have applied for 5,000 litres,” said Paul Thelekat, spokesperson of the Syro Malabar Church at Kochi.

When asked about the reason for increase in proportion, Thelekat said, “Look, the number of churches in our diocese has gone up dramatically in the past two decades. Hence, there are more members, which lead to more religious functions. So it is natural that our requirement of wine will increase.”

Sacramental wine is used in many different occasions including Eucharist. While most of the catholic churches use these wines in their sacred communions, the Thiruvalla-headquartered Mar Thoma Church is absolutely against it.

An official of the Mar Thoma Church who did not want to disclose his name said that they use dry raisins and pour a little water and keep it overnight.

He added, “The next morning just before the service, it is mashed and the liquid is used as wine and is given to our laity. The rest is equally shared by the priest and his assistants. Now-a-days, in many of our churches, to make things easy, we use grape squash.”

Excise department officials have also verified that they have received an application from the members of Syro Malabar Church, and they have also accepted their plea to increase the production from 1,500 to 5,000 litres annually.

The Catholic Church believes that Oommen Chandy government will totally prohibit the use of sacred wine in holy gatherings as they want to prohibit the wine in all the churches by 2023.

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Covid-19: Liquor Prices Hiked Up to 35% in Kerala

Covid-19 impact leads to liquor prices hiked up in Kerala

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"The tax rate on beer and wine would go up by 10 per cent, while all forms of liquor will be taxed by an additional 35 per cent," said Kerala CM Vijayan. Wikimedia Commons

The Kerala cabinet meeting held here on Wednesday decided to hike the tax rates on liquor, beer and wine ranging from 10 to 35 per cent.

The office of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that this has been done to tide over the difficulties faced on account of the lockdown and an ordinance to this effect will be issued soon.

“The tax rate on beer and wine would go up by 10 per cent, while all forms of liquor will be taxed by an additional 35 per cent,” said Vijayan.

The liquor vends and bars are all closed and in all likelihood, might open very soon.

A photo made with a fisheye lens shows bottles of alcohol in a liquor store in Salt Lake City. The National Institutes of Health said Friday that it was canceling a study of moderate drinking's health benefits because the results could not be trusted. Beer and liquor companies were helping to underwrite it.
The liquor shops and bars are all closed but are likely to open very soon. VOA

The state exchequer has been reeling under lack of revenue and last month all what the state government could collect from various sources was a mere Rs 250 crore.

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For fund-starved Kerala, revenue from liquor and beer is one of the biggest cash cows and in the last fiscal, garnered it a total of Rs 14,504.67 crore and hence the devolution of IT into Bevco, would be a big relief for the state’s finances.

The profile of liquor users in the state, in a study conducted earlier, reveal that around 32.9 lakh people – 29.8 lakh men and 3.1 lakh women – out of the state’s 3.34 crore population consume liquor.

Around five lakh people consume liquor on a daily basis. Of this, 83,851 people, including 1,043 women, are addicted to alcohol. (IANS)

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14-Day Home Quarantine Compulsory for Keralites Returning From Other States: Kerala CM

14-day home quarantine must for all returnees

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Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan says Fourteen-day home quarantine is a must for all Keralites returning from other states. Wikimedia Commoms

Fourteen-day home quarantine for all Keralites returning from other states would be compulsory, said Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, here on Saturday.

“Kerala’s home quarantine protocol has been very effective. Hence top health expert B. Iqbal suggested that in the present context it would be best that those who arrive from within the country and having no symptoms be home quarantined,

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“Kerala’s home quarantine protocol has been very effective.” said Vijayan. Wikimedia Commoms

According to the state-owned Norka-Roots web portal, around 200,000 people have registered to return and a majority are from neighbouring states and Maharashtra.

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Those with symptoms would be tested and, if needed, be isolated in hospitals, he said and added, the PCR test would also be conducted.

The Chief Minister said all those waiting to enter the state from the six border check-posts would be issued passes. “But none will be allowed in without a pass,” said Vijayan. (IANS)

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Lockdown: 100 Circus Artists Stuck in Kerala

COVID-19 leaves circus troupe abandoned in Kerala

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Water, soap and sanitizer installed by DYFI in a rural village road, as part of Break the chain campaign of Kerala government during 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Kerala lockdown. Photographed near Kanjirappally. Wikimedia Commons

100 Jumbo circus artistes besides their entire pack of animals are hoping against hope after being stuck since the lockdown began in March, near here.

They had their last show at Kottakal near here on March 11 and when they were packing their bags to leave to Bengaluru, came the lockdown and since then they are holed up in their tents and are at the mercy of the generous who come to their help time and again.

“Things are getting tough as we have camels, dogs, birds which have a different eating pattern. Moreover the artistes are also finding it tough . We are stuck,” said Dineshan, a manager of the circus team to IANS.

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Volunteers packaging essential grocery items for Supplyco, for free distribution during the lockdown period of 2020 coronavirus pandemic in Kerala. Photographed from Chirakkadavu Gramapanchayat town hall. Wikimedia Commons

“The local authorities did come to our help and provided us with food supplies. They have now helped us to move our things to a more safe place, as the place where our things were kept was a low lying land and with the rains, it could get flooded. We have started shifting to the new place,” added Dineshan.

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The entire team consisted of 140 and 40 of them left soon after the performance was stopped on March 11.

The present team consists of One Ethiopian and 6 South African nationals including a lady. The remaining are form various states of the country and includes 29 women. (IANS)