Maharashtra mulls home delivery of liquor amid fear of coronavirus

By: |
May 8, 2020 4:01 PM

Days after the government eased restrictions on the sale of alcohol, Maharashtra government is mulling on allowing home delivery of alcohol to avoid people from gathering.

Maharashtra is one of the worst hit states due to coronavirus with a total of 14,541 cases and the state alone contributes 31.2% of all India cases.

Days after the government eased restrictions on the sale of alcohol, Maharashtra government is mulling on allowing home delivery of alcohol to avoid people from gathering. The state government is not in favour of opening liquor shops, CNBC TV-18 reported citing Maharashtra’s health minister Rajesh Tope. It had earlier shuttered liquor vends in Mumbai and the rest of MMR region after opening them for a day. Maharashtra is one of the worst hit states due to coronavirus with a total of 14,541 cases and the state alone contributes 31.2% of all India cases. However, the government has not decided upon the home delivery of liquor and it is still in discussion to allow it. Meanwhile, the state is also considering opening non-essential shops in green zones.

Also Read: Zomato’s liquor at home service: Now, alcohol lovers may not need to queue up for drinks

With the nation remaining under a lockdown for over a month now, the revenues collected via liquor are drying up for states. The central government recently allowed sales of alcohol in the country and states such as Delhi imposed ‘special corona fees’ on MRP of alcohol to make up for revenue losses in the last month. Before the coronavirus pandemic, Maharashtra used to charge the highest rate on alcohol duty and the state amounts to 8% of the total national intake of alcohol, according to a recent CRISIL report. 

Meanwhile, as the demand for alcohol is skyrocketing, online food aggregators have sensed an opportunity in delivering liquor to door steps. Homegrown online food delivery platform Zomato is reportedly looking to branch out into home delivery of alcohol after recently launching its grocery delivery arm, Reuters reported. “We believe that a technology-enabled home delivery based solution can promote responsible consumption of alcohol,” Mohit Gupta, Zomato’s CEO for food delivery, wrote in a business proposal. Currently, there is no legal provision for selling alcohol online.

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