A day after the state government issued a special order to allow home deliveries of alcohol, the excise department Wednesday issued guidelines clarifying that liquor stores won’t be permitted to charge additionally for such deliveries, and have to adhere to the maximum retail price (MRP).
The state department has also clarified that those who do not hold a valid liquor drinking permit can obtain daily permits from the liquor stores while ordering for their home deliveries. Alternatively, buyers can log onto https://stateexcise.maharashtra.org or https://exciseservices.mahaonline.gov.in for availing the permits.
Incidentally, a section of bureaucrats’ fear that allowing home deliveries would also encourage bootlegging or illegal trafficking of liquor. “A bootlegger will use home delivery system to stock up and then sale it in violation of rules,” said a senior official.
Another official said it was this apprehension that has made the government limit the option till the period of lockdown for now. Meanwhile, an official communication by the department said the option will now be offered from May 15 onwards.
It had earlier said that it would be rolled out from May 14, but excise inspectors have sought more time for ensuring that all Covid-19 precautionary measures are in place.
The guidelines make medical check-up of the delivery boys beforehand mandatory. The excise inspectors will issue them identity cards thereafter. It is compulsory for the delivery staff to wear masks and hand gloves at the time of delivery and carry hand sanitisers.
Liquor shop owners have also been directed to conduct regular thermal screening of the delivery staff. Not more than 10 delivery staff can be employed by one shop.
The department has also capped the number of units one delivery staffer can carry at one time to 24 bottles. A separate register will have to be maintained for home deliveries, it stated.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines