Punjab analyzes home delivery of alcoholic beverages online, with proof in Mohali

CHANDIGARH: If everything goes according to the government's plan, alcohol lovers in the state will receive their favorite liquor brand at the door of their home. If this happens, Punjab may be the first state in the country to receive liquor online.

Maharashtra also proposed to start delivery of liquors at home online in October 2018 to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol, but the movement failed. Even Karnataka had played with the idea.

In the new special tax policy 2020-21 announced on Friday, the government has presented the proposal to introduce an online home delivery platform in the city as a test. However, he has clarified that the plan will be implemented in consultation with all the city's retail licensees and can be abandoned if any objection is received.

Liquor owners mistrust the government plan

The government has submitted the proposal after receiving representations after which presentations were made to retail dealers for comments.

The Punjab government may face a legal obstacle in the implementation of the proposal. Ajay Jagga, an expert defender of special taxes and taxes based on Chandigarh, described the proposed measure against the spirit of the Constitution.

He cited article 47, according to which the state shall endeavor to achieve the prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating beverages. Therefore, the option of selling liquor online seems to be unconstitutional, since it promotes the sale of liquor, without even seeing the buyer to determine if the liquor recipient is authorized by law or not, since there is a prohibition to sell liquor to people under 25 years of age, ”he added. In addition, how will the department guarantee the quality of the liquor delivered through online platforms? Gaurav Jain, who has liquor sellers in Mohali, Zirakpur and Kharar, said the measure will help the department obtain additional revenue, but will have a negative impact on the business of retail licensees. Exposing few, most licensees are not in favor of this proposal, he added.

Punjab's special tax and tax commissioner, Vivek Partap Singh, said the special tax department must still resolve the modalities and that the proposal will be presented only if all retail licensees agree.

Through the new policy, the government aims to generate revenues of Rs 6,250 million rupees against the anticipated collection of Rs 5,676 million rupees from 2019-20. Special tax revenues are expected to increase to Rs 5,676 crore in 2019-20 from Rs 5,150 crore in 2018-19.