– Bhavya Desai
As the biggest contributor to any States revenue, the lockdown and the closure of the liquor shops for sale of alcohol has resulted in drying the State Governments kitty, bringing things to nearly a grinding halt.
So it isn’t surprising that governments have started shifting their stance on the online sale of liquor and also its home delivery. Maharashtra is the latest State to allow home delivery of alcohol. Although it is yet unclear when this home delivery will start, the government has given a green light to the idea.
However there is a caveat when it comes to this rule. With Mumbai, the biggest market for manufacturers in the State being in the red/containment zone, is still far off from allowing home deliveries. Which means that the consumers in the city will still have to wait for clarity on when the sale of alcohol in the island city will be permitted.
Naturally the deliveries are permitted as long as it is to the home address of the buyer and safety precautions and social distancing norms are taken into account. The move comes after the government earned more than ₹100 crore in the three days that the shops were open for sale.
A few days earlier the government also gave a green light to introduce an e-token system in Pune and Nashik for buying liquor. Any customer can download an app that allows them to place an order at the closest store. They are then informed when they can come to the store to pick up their purchase.
Punjab, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh have also moved to allow home delivery of liquor with Maharashtra now becoming the fourth State to follow the suit. Tamil Nadu (capital city Chennai) is also another state where the high court stated that it was open to the idea of the State run TASMAC starting online sales of liquor by putting a required system in place.
Closer to the bigger cities of Maharashtra like Mumbai, Zomato has proposed home delivery of liquor in a letter to the International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI).