The Maharashtra government on May 12, 2020 declared that it would permit liquor shops to start home delivery services subject to some terms and conditions. The said conditions will apply to both the buyer and the seller.
The decision was taken after social distancing rules were flouted on the recent opening of the liquor shops and massive queues were formed outside them amid lockdown.
The order was signed under the name of the governor -Mr. Valsa Nair Singh, Principal Secretary (Excise) to Government of Maharashtra.
The guidelines allowing home delivery of liquor state that the sale and delivery of alcohol would be allowed only in the jurisdiction of the licensed premises at specified day and timings provided the permit holder has placed an order for the same.
The terms further stated as follows:
- The seller will be allowed to deliver only within the area he is licensed to sell at.
- The seller will be allowed to make the deliveries only within permissible hours specified by the government.
- The seller will be allowed to make doorstep deliveries only to the ones who have placed an order for the same.
- The delivery person has to be responsibly sanitized and must be wearing a mask and gloves.
“Liquor shops which have been allowed to reopen since May 5, 2020 will be able to take orders on phone”, said a senior official while adding, “The mode of payment has to be decided by the buyer and the seller. A person can order up to 12 IMFL bottles.”
On being asked about the validity of the provision, he replied, “[The] order is valid only till the lockdown period is in force because social gathering is prohibited.”
“Rules regarding possession of various types of liquor at home are displayed on the Excise department's website which buyers can check before ordering,” the official further stated.
Another IAS officer commented, “The service will continue to operate on the lines of e-commerce platforms like Amazon where there will be some delivery charges.”
It was also clarified that though the order was issued today (May 12, 2020), it will not come into effect until detailed guidelines are framed. The government will issue the guidelines in a couple of days.
Unidentified excise officials said that it will take at least two days for shops to prepare for this and the deliveries will start from 14th May 2020.
However, it is anticipated that the home delivery of liquor will only be applicable during the lockdown period and will be subject to modifications or cancellations in the future.