Several state governments had decided to cut the chase and try different ways to keep the sale of alcohol running even during Covid-pandemic induced lockdown
Good news for tipplers in Delhi. The state government’s amended excise rules governing the trade of alcohol now allow the sale of liquor through mobile apps or other online platforms. According to The Delhi Excise (Amendment) Rules, 2020, notified on Monday, Form L-13 license holders can deliver liquor booked by a customer through an app or a website to their doorsteps.
Last year the Supreme Court after taking into account the visuals of overcrowded liquor shops with customers not maintaining social distancing norms during a raging Covid-19 pandemic following restrictions on their operational timings observed that states can consider home delivery of liquors without issuing any order in this regard. The Delhi government even imposed a special tax of 70 percent on retail liquor purchases to deter large gatherings.
Here’s who is allowed to deliver liquor and where according to the amended law
- Liquor sellers with L-14 license are only allowed to start home delivery of liquor in Delhi, says the notification
- The licensee is permitted to deliver liquor only if he revives an order through a mobile app or through an online web portal.
- No delivery under any circumstance will be made at any hostel, office, and institution.
Home delivery of liquor was not explicitly barred under previous rules but holders of L-13 license were allowed to deliver at residences only after receiving the order through e-mail or Fax and not on telephonic call.
Liquor contributes a considerable amount to revenues of all states and UTs except for the states where consumption of alcohol is prohibited i.e. Gujarat and Bihar. In a report published by the Reserve Bank of India last September, tax from spirits in the form of excise accounts for around 10-15 percent of the state’s tax revenue.
Hence several state governments had decided to cut the chase and try different ways to keep the sale of alcohol running even during Covid-pandemic induced lockdown. Here are the few states providing alcohol delivery.
West Bengal (Kolkata)
Kolkata allowed alcohol delivery online last year to continue operation. Platform partners like Swiggy, HipBar started taking requests to deliver alcohol online provided the customer furnished identity and age proof.
Odisha government allowed the home delivery of liquor amidst nationwide lockdown in the country after hiking the MRP of all liquor products by over 50 percent. The state excise department permitted delivery of IMFL by all “On” and “Off” licensees at the doorstep of the customers. The vendors are also allowed to outsource the delivery job to the registered food delivery partners like Zomato and Swiggy
During the lockdown last year, the government shortlisted Kochi-based start-up Faircode Technologies Private Ltd for developing a BevQ app that can do home delivery of liquor from Kerala Beverage Corporation retail outlets. The officials are now working out how the home delivery can glitch-free while Bevco outlets remained shut during the second wave.
Punjab government allowed delivery of alcohol products for consumption up to 2 liters. Each neighborhood will have a mandated delivery window and only registered partners with IDs, and curfew passes were allowed to do online delivery. The vehicle used for delivery should receive a permit from the district authorities. The government made it mandatory for sellers to carry the original bills for the sale of liquor.
Maharashtra government allowed liquor to be home delivered in the state barring the containment zones since last year’s nationwide lockdown. The state government asked liquor shops to tie up with liquor shops. The delivery services are operational between 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM.
The Jharkhand government roped in food delivery platforms Swiggy and Zomato for doorstep delivery of liquor. Swiggy started delivery with Ranchi. Consumers have to go through mandatory verification and registration process and share OTP with the delivery agents to receive the parcel.
The state government allows the online sale of liquor to prevent black marketing during the lockdown. Consumers can place orders through the Chattisgarh State Marketing Corporation website by sharing Aadhar numbers as well as other details. An individual can order up to 5 liters and has to pay additional Rs 100 as a delivery charge.