Liquor agencies to government: states must allow home delivery

BENGALURU: States should allow alcohol consumption at home at a time when liquor stores and production facilities are closed, causing a large loss in excise tax revenue, said the Confederation of Alcoholic Beverage Companies of India () in a letter to Minister of Commerce Piyush Goyal, Minister of Health Harsh Vardhan and chief ministers of all states.

CIABC and (International Spirits and Wines Association of India) have also called on the government to allow retail stores to open outside identified Covid-19 access points gradually over a longer period of time to help spread customer fever . The CIABC is the main body of the Indian alcobev makers and the ISWAI is made up of foreign players like Pernod Ricard and Beam Suntory.

The CIABC suggested that stores should be asked to sign up for home delivery through online applications and the government may charge a fee in addition to the license.

Assuming that social distancing will be normal in the future, the government may consider institutionalizing home delivery as a separate online managed channel. It is our opinion that the government may consider establishing its own portal to facilitate home delivery and/or allow food delivery aggregators to do so, Vinod Giri, CIABC general, wrote in the letter.

In addition to this, the liquor corps also suggests that 3-4 passes should be given to each store for home delivery personnel and the government may limit the quantity delivered or the frequency. Customers can place an order online or by phone along with proof of identity to verify age.

Employment has to return at a certain stage as people's livelihood is at stake, Shobhan Roy, CEO of the All India Brewers Association (AIBA) told TOI. He added that the industry contributes about $ 20 billion in consumer income and has about one million workers.

“The states have little cash. 15 - 30% of a state's income comes from alcohol. This is a significant stream of income that reaches the state coffers directly and can help in these times of cash shortages, particularly when there is pressure to provide a safety net; minimum subsistence allowance, free food, free medical care, ”said ISWAI President Amrit Kiran Singh.