The liquor industry including restaurants, bars and few online food distributors have requested the government to permit home delivery of alcohol. They ensured that they will follow the social distancing norms along with it will be a lifesaver for sectors severely damaged by the coronavirus.
All India Brewer’s Association (AIBA) has suggested to create a special license for e-commerce companies and food delivery companies to take orders and fulfil demands from existing licensed shops in states. With respect to this, setting up of a separate online platform for ordering liquor which will be owned by state departments. As the liquor industry contributes around Rs. 2.5 lakh crores as income to state governments. States have already lost revenue of about 25000 crores during the lockdown which has caused enough complications.
Almost all the liquor companies, restaurants and hotels are urging to allow them to deliver the alcohol at home. The liquor stock piled is for about Rs. 3000 crores. As this will help them to finish up the stocks and raise some money to take care of the essential and basic needs by complying to social distancing norms strictly. Online food platforms are ready to begin with such services if allowed by Government.
To work out the process of approval, licensing, registration, permits, EVC’s can be easily made online with efficient technology and thus cutting down human interaction. As this year has the capacity to disrupt the businesses as the threats are given that infections may arise from anywhere and could lead to multiple lockdowns in the second half of the year also. In this case, government should pass the request and facilitate home delivery of beer, wine and alcohol.
Several states allowed reopening of the liquor shops to generate revenue for the state and clear out the stock for new arrangement but due to heavy rush and violating rules of social distancing, forced the state authorities to close down the outlets. States also imposed additional taxes to control demand and increase state’s revenues. Also, price hike was not supported by liquor companies as it can affect the purchasing power of consumer and will lead the consumer to shift to a cheaper brand than to consider preferred brand.
Liquor companies are struggling with cost inflation and it is time that government takes up measures and considers manufactures survival and consumers affordability instead of increasing prices.
The Supreme Court on May 8 asked the states about their respective opinions to consider online sales and home delivery of alcohol during the lockdown.