Online food delivery app Zomato has become a major part of people's lives as it has been delivering food to people amid lockdown in India. The restaurant aggregator has been providing its services without any interruption in numerous parts of the country. By following the health guidelines presented by the government, the employees of the organisation also started delivering groceries at homes of many people. Now, due to the lockdown restrictions and health dangers of Coronavirus, Zomato has decided to provide online alcohol delivery at the doorstep of their customers.
To provide governments with an influx of tax revenue amid lockdown, the Central and State governments allowed retailers to sell liquor in the country, with conditions. However, this led to big chaos as many people gathered around the wine shops making huge lines. This, in turn, created a lot of fuss as the norms of social distancing were not followed and eventually, relaxations to open liquor shops were revoked in many places.
Reports say that to help people, retailers and government, Zomato's CEO of food delivery, Mohit Gupta, had written to industry body International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI) suggesting the idea of online alcohol delivery services. In his letter to the CEO, Gupta said that he believes online medium can promote responsible consumption of alcohol. The letter has been accessed by a leading news agency, proposing that delivery services would be targeted in areas that are comparatively less affected by COVID-19 pandemic.
ISWAI’s executive chairman Amrit Kiran Singh has been quoted backing Zomato's proposal, suggesting that it would play a role in reducing the retail burden, which appears to be tremendous in the first few days of relaxing the liquor sale clampdown, as many people in cities such Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and others did not follow the precautionary guidelines given by the government which is why many cities have shut the liquor shops again.