The lockdown due to the Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19) affected the Indian economy in a bad way. The Indian economy came to a standstill ever since the lockdown has been imposed. Most of the industries except those which manufacture essential day-to-day products such as food products, medicines, etc. were allowed to operate. All the other businesses, shops, and factories of non-essential products and services were put to a complete stop to contain the spread of Coronavirus. The alcohol sector of India was one of the many that very badly affected. While the alcohol and liquor stores all around the country have started opening, it is still a great risk to stand in long queues for buying alcoholic drinks. However, now the people of West Bengal will be able to buy alcohol online through online stores Amazon and BigBasket.
According to reports, The West Bengal State Beverages Corp., which manages the sale and distribution of alcohol in the state, has authorized Amazon and BigBasket for sale of alcoholic drinks on their online portals. The online stores can now deliver Beer, Wine, Spirits, and other alcoholic drinks in the state of West Bengal. The stores have been permitted for the sales of alcoholic drinks. The notice stated that both of these stores are eligible to register with the government authorities and to start the sales and home delivery of liquor when they like. However, no announcement or statement has been given by either of these companies regarding the same.
Apart from this, online food delivery applications such as Swiggy and Zomato have continued the delivery of alcohols, beer, and wines since last month when the alcohol shops were allowed to reopen and restrictions on the ban of alcoholic drinks were lifted by the government after about 45 days from the start of lockdown.
As of now, these privileges have been granted to the 2 online stores only in the state of West Bengal. Will all the other state governments will permit these stores for the online shopping of liquor is a big question. This is because all the states have different regulations and policies regarding the sales and trade of liquor.
Will this step help the Indian Economy?
The alcohol sector of India has a large contribution to its economy. All of the Indian states, combined together, earned about ₹ 2.25 lakh crore from taxes on alcohol in the last financial year. This means that many of the states of India derived more than 15% of their tax revenues through the sale of alcohol and liquor. This means that the states of India combined together earned more than ₹ 600 crores per day through taxes on liquor, which in turn means that the Indian economy suffered a loss of more than ₹ 600 crores per day since the sales of liquor and alcoholic drinks were put to a stop. So, this step will definitely be a slight help to the Indian economy. And if all other states permit the online sale and home delivery of alcohol and liquor too, it will give a huge boost to the economy of India.
This step will also ensure the safety of people who consume alcohol, who stood in long queues outside liquor shops when the sale of liquor started again the previous month. People standing in queues outside liquor shops often ignore social distancing, and few of them even do not bother to wear masks for their safety. Thus, the no contact home delivery service for wines, beers, spirits, and alcohol will ensure the safety and good health of the customers and stop the people from putting themselves along with the others at risk by standing in long queues outside the shops to buy liquor.