Two states start home delivery of liquor to avoid crowd at outlets

PTI
New Delhi, Delhi, India Published: May 07, 2020, 07:52 AM(IST)

File photo Photograph:( AFP )

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The delivery of liquor at people’s doorsteps will be allowed only during the lockdown period, the order said.

Home delivery of liquor will start from May 7 in Punjab with the state excise and taxation department issuing an order for opening of liquor vends on Wednesday

The liquor stores would be allowed to open only during the curfew relaxation period, officials said.

Meanwhile, the Punjab government on Wednesday evening changed the curfew relaxation timing to ensure no overcrowding at shops. Now the shops will open from 7 am till 3 pm. Earlier, the relaxation was given from 9 am till 1 pm.

However, the timing of delivery of liquor will be decided by the respective assistant excise and taxation commissioners in consultation with deputy commissioners, the order stated.

Though there is no provision of home delivery of liquor in the Punjab Excise Act 1914 and the Excise Rules, the decision in this regard has been taken to ensure social distancing in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, it said.

The delivery of liquor at people’s doorsteps will be allowed only during the lockdown period, the order said.

Only two litres of liquor will be allowed through home delivery to a buyer against a cash memo.

People deputed for home delivery of liquor will be issued identity cards by the department and they will also carry curfew pass, as per the order.

Home delivery of Punjab Medium Liquor (PML) will not be allowed, it said.

At liquor vends, directions have been issued to ensure adherence to social distancing norms and arrangement of sanitiser, it stated.

Not more than five people will be allowed to stand outside a liquor shop, the order said.

Liquor contractors who have paid 50 per cent of the license fee to the state government will be allowed to open their shops, it said.

The Punjab government had earlier urged the Centre to allow the opening of liquor shops in the state to mop up tax revenue.

Home delivery of liquor in West Bengal, website launched

The West Bengal government on Wednesday allowed home delivery of liquor and the State Beverages Corporation (BEVCO) launched a website through which people over 21 years of age can place orders.

The move was aimed at avoiding large gatherings at standalone ‘OFF’ shops which reopened on Monday, industry sources said.

Customers can place orders through the website https://excise.wb.gov.in/eRetail/Page/eRetail_Login.aspx after registering themselves by providing necessary details such as address and mobile number, among others.

After registration, they can order liquor from the designated stores that are on the website.

Liquor worth over Rs 100 crore were sold in the first two days of reopening of the shops, said Sushmita Mukherjee, the assistant secretary of West Bengal ON, OFF, CS, and Hotel Owners Association.

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