Zomato Wants To Deliver Liquor; Punjab, WB, Chhattisgarh Start Home Delivery Of Alcohol
Alcohol stores shut on March 25 and opened this week. In the last 2 days as the liquor stores opened all over the nation, we saw worrisome, never ending queues and crowds. It led to baton charge as well by the police to ensure social distancing protocols. On the other hand, the COVID-19 cases escalated during this period!
The Governments of Punjab, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh are set to deliver liquor at the doorstep. Zomato is also gearing up for delivering alcohol by branching out.
Read to find out more…
Zomato To Deliver Alcohol Soon?
To deter the large crowds outside the liquor stores, New Delhi authorities introduced a ‘Special Corona Fee’ of 70% on top of retail alcohol prices. On the other hand, Mumbai shut its liquor stores within two days of reopening them.
According to a document seen by Reuters, Zomato seeks to cash in on high demand for booze during the country’s coronavirus lockdown.
Zomato already breached into grocery deliveries as the lockdown restrictions shut the restaurants and the demand for online food orders reduced.
Industry body International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI) is lobbying to introduce legal provision for home deliveries of alcohol in India, in conjunction with Zomato and others.
Mohit Gupta, Zomato’s CEO for food delivery, wrote in a business proposal to ISWAI, “We believe that a technology-enabled home delivery based solution can promote responsible consumption of alcohol.”
Zomato would target ‘areas that are relatively less affected by COVID-19,’ Gupta wrote in the unpublished document, submitted to ISWAI in mid-April and seen by Reuters.
ISWAI’s executive chairman Amrit Kiran Singh said states should allow alcohol deliveries to help boost state revenues hit by the lockdown. He added, “The challenge is to ensure revenue from alcohol continues to be available,” he told Reuters. “…It is imperative they (states) reduce the load on the retail counter … by encouraging home delivery.”
India’s alcohol drinks market was worth almost $27.2 billion in 2018, according to the most recent figures from London-based research group IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.
Zomato’s main local rival Swiggy was also contacted, said Singh.
Punjab Governments Allows Home Delivery of Alcohol!
The Punjab Government has permitted the home delivery of liquor from May 7 with the state excise and taxation department issuing an order for opening of liquor vends on May 6.
The development comes after the Punjab government on May 6 evening changed the curfew relaxation timing to ensure no overcrowding at shops. Now all the shops will open at 7 AM till 3 PM i.e. according to the curfew relaxations.
The state government order stated that the timing of delivery of liquor will be decided by the respective assistant excise and taxation commissioners in consultation with deputy commissioners. Only 2 litres of liquor will be allowed through home delivery to a buyer against a cash memo.
The order said, “The delivery of liquor at people’s doorsteps will be allowed only during the lockdown period.”
West Bengal Launches an Online Portal For Placing Liquor Orders!
The West Bengal government on May 6 allowed the home delivery of liquor across the state amidst lockdown.
According to updates, the West Bengal State Beverages Corporation (WBSBCL) has launched an online portal for placing the orders for liquor. People willing to place the order online can visit excise.wb.gov.in.
Furthermore, the state government has also launched e-retail for online booking and home delivery of liquor in order to maintain social distancing and minimise footfall at retail outlets.
Chhattisgarh Launches a Website and an App to Deliver Liquor!
The Chhattisgarh government has also launched a web portal for home delivery of liquor in green zones of the state to avoid crowding at wine shops during the coronavirus-enforced lockdown, an official said on May 5.
The portal has been named after the state-run Chhattisgarh State Marketing Corporation Limited (CSMCL), which controls the sale of liquor in the state, a public relations department official here said.
He added, “The state government has given permission for online sale of liquor so that crowding at wine shops can be discouraged.”
People can book orders directly through the CSMCL website or its mobile app available on the Google Play Store.
However, the home delivery facility will not be available in Raipur and Korba districts which are not classified as green zones, the official said.
People will have to register their mobile number, Aadhaar number and address for placing the order online which will be confirmed through an OTP (one time password).
A customer can order up to 5 litre of liquor at a time for home delivery, the official said, adding that the delivery charge is Rs 120.
The main opposition BJP termed the state government’s decision of home delivery of liquor as ‘shameful’ and demanded that it be withdrawn.
The Congress, which came to power, after promising to ban liquor is now delivering liquor at home. It is a very shameful decision, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Dharamlal Kaushik said.