Alcohol worth Rs 108.16 crores was sold in West Bengal over three days, with the government authorities stating that the online delivery of alcohol will not lead to an increase in the sale. Liquor can be bought online through the West Bengal State Beverages Corporation Limited (WBSBCL) website.
Assistant General Secretary of the Hotel and Bar Association, Sushmita Mukherjee said that the online sale of liquor will lead to lower return on investments.
Speaking to ANI she said, "If a person orders online then we have to supply liquor to them no matter which area they call from. This will be similar to food delivery service providers. Overall, this decision of providing home delivery service will create potential risks. Unlike other states, we have not got any clarification from the government whether 30 per cent excise will be in force only during the Covid-19 crisis."
West Bengal State Beverages Corporation (WBSBCL) launched an eRetail portal for online booking and home delivery of alcohol and thus avoid overcrowding.
Alcohol shops across the country have seen a rush and there have been instances of overcrowding, violating all social distancing norms.
Earlier this week, enthusiasts from across the national capital turned up at stores to fill in their stocks. The scene at various locations soon turned dire soon as impatient buyers forgot to follow rules set by the government amid Coronavirus pandemic. Delhi government, in a bid to decrease the rush, levied 70% tax on liquor in the national capital, with other states issuing measures to follow suit.
On Thursday, the Delhi government launched an e-token system that allows people to book a time slot for buying alcohol in order to decrease overcrowding. Instead of spending hours in a line, customers can apply for a coupon online and visit the shops then.
The buyers will require to fill the address of liquor shop in their area along with their mobile number and other details while applying for e-token. The tokens will be sent on the mobile phones of the registered persons.
There will be two different queues at liquor shops- one for people with tokens and one for those who don't have it. A fixed number of tokens will be issued for every hour. At present, 160 liquor shops are permitted open in Delhi as only stand-alone shops are allowed to open.
(With inputs from ANI) (Picture Credit: PTI)