Bengaluru: Bars, clubs and restaurants in Karnataka have been permitted to sell liquor as takeaway at the maximum retail price till May 17, in order to clear their existing stock that has accumulated during the COVID-19 lockdown. Also Read - Madras HC Orders Closure of TASMAC Liquor Shops in TN, Permits Online Sale And Home Delivery
Conditions that have been laid down by the government include only sale of sealed bottles, maintaining social distancing during the sale and wearing of masks. Also Read - Uttar Pradesh News: Rs 75,000 Penalty For Selling Liquor at a Higher Price Than MRP
“Karnataka government has allowed restaurants, pubs and bars to sell liquor at retail prices from tomorrow till May 17. However, they can be sold only in takeaway form,” an order issued by the state government on Friday said. The establishments will be allowed to sell liquor from 9 am to 7 pm, the order added. Also Read - Why Not Home Delivery, Asks Supreme Court, Says Won't Stop Liquor Ban | Explained
In a separate order, the department allowed Metro Cash and Carry to sell liquor till May 17, with similar conditions of timing, social distancing, wearing of masks among others. They too can’t operate in containment zones announced by the government.
A similar order has been issued permitting standalone wine boutiques to sell wines, with similar conditions, but no last date has been set.
On Friday, a three-judge bench of the Supreme Court said that it won’t pass any order on liquor sale, but states should consider home delivery or indirect sale of liquor to maintain social distancing.
The liquor sales started after May 4 when the Centre partially relaxed the lockdown and allowed the sales in all zones — Green, Orange, Red — except the containment zones. This was done at the behest of the state governments many of which had urged the Centre to allow liquor sales so that the flailing economy can look up.