New Delhi: At a time when long queues were seen by people to get bottle of alcohol from shops across the country, the Excise and Taxation Department in Punjab on Tuesday has proposed to deliver liquor at home during coronavirus lockdown. However, a final decision on this regard will be taken at a state cabinet meeting on Wednesday. Also Read - After Delhi, Andhra Pradesh Government Hikes Liquor Prices- Here's How Much You Have to Pay From Today
As per the proposal from the department, the home delivery of liquor will be allowed between 1 PM to 6 PM in order to avoid rush at vends as witnessed on Monday across the country. Moreover, it will also enable the social distancing norm. Also Read - Delhi Government Imposes 70% 'Coronavirus Tax' on Liquor, Twitter Pours Its Sorrow in Memes
The development comes after the state government gave relaxation in curfew in the state for four hours from 9 AM to 1 PM across the state during which all shops are open. Also Read - Rajasthan News Today May 5, 2020: Liquor to Be Sold Via Coupons in Jaipur to Maintain Social Distancing
Notably, the state government has incurred a loss of Rs 550 crore due to excise duty as vends have been shut for more than a month.
Moreover, the Excise and Taxation department plans to issue a curfew pass to an employee of the liquor vend contractor to deliver the liquor at home.
The department said the phone numbers given by the contractor will be announced or circulated thus one can give a call at these numbers and get the delivery done.
However, the department’s proposal has drawn strong resistance from officials within and also the contractors as they apprehend that this will encourage bootlegging and it is also against the excise rules as liquor can be only sold from retail vends and not otherwise.
On the other hand, the state government is also likely to increase the price of liquor by imposing COVID-19 cess soon.