As the government has given some relaxations in the nationwide lockdown, several states will allow liquor shops to open hoping to generate revenues.
In a late night notification, the finance department of the Delhi government said, "Seventy percent of the maximum retail price (will be levied) on all categories of liquor sold through retail licensees for consumption..."
Indian police fired tear gas at a crowd of protesting migrant workers in Gujarat and launched baton charges against hundreds of people queuing at liquor shops in New Delhi, even as the first steps were being taken to relax a coronavirus lockdown.
"Liquor stores and pan shops will be allowed to function in green zones while ensuring a minimum six feet distance from each other and ensuring that not more than five persons are present at one time at the shop", the statement from the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said.
The state excise department has allowed retail liquor outlets, the Karnataka State Beverage Corporations Limited (KSBCL) and Mysore Sales International Ltd depots to sell liquor outside containment zones from 9 am to 7 pm starting May 4. Norms and guidelines have to be followed strictly.
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Officials had painstakingly drawn chalk circles for buyers of booze to stand in but the social distancing efforts were thwarted as people gathered from early morning. Irrespective of police force deployment, chaos was created outside the liquor shops and heavy vehicular movement was witnessed in parts of national capital leading to massive traffic jams.
After more than a month, liquor stores have finally reopened in India across states and with that, social distancing and precautions needed to keep coronavirus at bay have gone for a toss.
- The canteens inside the shop will remain closed. The new rate is applicable from Tuesday.
"We expect to earn over Rs 3,000 crore due to hike in excise duty and more sales when pubs, bars, restaurants and hotels reopen for business across the state after the extended lockdown is lifted soon", he said.