No more online order or discounts on liquor, says Maharashtra excise department

HT Image
HT Image
Published on Sep 28, 2020 12:08 AM IST
Copy Link
By, Mumbai

Consumers will no longer be able to order liquor via online platforms or get discounts as the Maharashtra excise department is all set to crackdown on such mediums.

The excise department in its circular issued this week said that home delivery of liquor allowed during the Covid-19 pandemic was temporary in nature, and added that any listing, advertisement or offer was against excise rules and could invite prosecution as per law.

This is in contravention of the May 22 circular issued by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) wherein the civic body allowed the use of online platforms for selling liquor to avoid crowding at wine shops.

The excise department’s decision has irked many consumers who have questioned as to why liquor was being excluded from online platforms when all other goods are available.

Kevin Rodrigues, 39, who works in a leading BPO, said, “When liquor is legal, what harm is there to allow it to be sold online? In fact, tipplers will get a good choice of brands from the comfort of their homes,” said Rodrigues.

Savio D’sa, bar and restaurant consultant, is of a similar view and said it is about time liquor business is eased. “Online deliveries will prevent overcrowding at the counters, especially when Covid-19 cases are increasing by the day, and will encourage people to order more. Currently, the state coffers are bleeding and such a move (allowing online delivery of liquor) will only add more revenue to the exchequer,” said D’sa.

According to a senior official of excise department, home delivery of liquor was not allowed but an exception has been made due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “Wine shops can only give their names and addresses. They cannot even list liquor brands. We have observed that some stores are displaying bottles and in some there are models promoting the brand. Some are also promoting incentive schemes on bulk purchases. This is not allowed,” said the official requesting anonymity.

Excise commissioner Kantilal Umap has defended its decision saying he is following the rules. “We will crackdown on all who are advertising, whether it’s online or offline, as it’s not allowed,” said Umap.

Excise Department has warned that anyone indulging in such advertisements will face penalty of up to six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine of 5,000 under sections 23 and 24 of the Bombay Prohibition Act, 1949.

Wine shop merchants agree that advertisements may have taken place. “It’s true that some merchants may have advertised, but it was due to lack of clarity of rules. However, now things are clearer,” said Arvind Miskin, president of Association of Progressive Retail Liquor Vendors.

Liquor has been one of the major sources of revenue for the state government. The state was able to garner 15,434 crore as excise duty from sale of liquor during the previous financial year (April 2019-March 2020). This was one of the reasons that the cash-strapped government allowed opening of liquor shops from May 4.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Naresh is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times, Mumbai, since 2005. He covers the real estate sector, in addition to doing political reportage.

Close Story
QUICKREADS

Less time to read?

Try Quickreads

  • Representative image.

    AAP MLA, wife & son get 3 years in jail for assaulting kin’s family

    An AAP MLA was sentenced to three years in jail along with three others, including Singh's wife and son, for assaulting Paramjit Kaur family over 11 years ago. Besides Singh, those who were sentenced but given bail are his wife Rupinder Kaur, son Rahul and another person, Parminder Singh. The complainant had accused Singh and his family of assaulting her family.

  • Vinai Kumar Saxena appointed next LG of Delhi. (Image credit: Twitter)

    Vinai Kumar Saxena becomes new lieutenant governor of Delhi 

    President Ram Nath Kovind on Monday accepted Anil Baijal's resignation and appointed Vinai Kumar Saxena as the next lieutenant governor of Delhi. A statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan said Saxena's appointment as the Lt-governor of the National Capital Territory will be effective from the date of he assumed charge of his office. G) Anil Baijal had put in his papers citing personal reasons. Saxena currently chairman of Khadi and Village Industries Commission?

  • Punjab panchayats minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal made the announcement after meeting representatives of 23 farmers’ bodies on Monday. (HT File Photo)

    Punjab: Squatters get time till June 30 to voluntarily leave panchayat land

    The Punjab government has given illegal occupiers time till June 30 to voluntarily relinquish possession of panchayat land, after which action will be initiated to evict them. Rural development and panchayats minister Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal announced this after meeting representatives of 23 farmers' bodies here on Monday. “The Punjab government is removing illegal occupants from panchayat lands after completing the legal process,” he said, while clarifying that no house will be demolished.

  • Uttar Pradesh governor Anandiben Patel addresses a joint session of both Houses of the state during the Budget session of UP Assembly, at Vidhan Bhawan in Lucknow, Monday. (PTI Photo)

    4.5 lakh govt jobs provided to youth in UP in 5 years: Guv

    LUCKNOW Governor Anandiben Patel on Monday stated that 1.61 crore youth had been provided employment in the private sector through private investment while 60 lakh youth were linked to self-employment in Uttar Pradesh. “In the last five years, 4.5 lakh government jobs have been provided to the youth in UP by adopting a fair and transparent recruitment process,” she stated in her address to the joint sitting of both the houses of state legislature.

  • Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath arrives to attend the first session of the 18th UP Assembly, at Vidhan Bhawan, in Lucknow on Monday. (ANI Photo)

    Govt ready for debate on any issue, says UP CM

    LUCKNOW Chief minister Yogi Adityanath on Monday said his government was ready for a debate and reply on any issues related to development, the poor, farmers, youths and women, in the state assembly. Adityanath said he hoped that the members would get some guidance from the governor's address to the two houses of state legislature and the debate over his government's achievements and its future plans.

SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Monday, May 23, 2022