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Government forms team to study online liquor sale

Last Updated : 01 September 2020, 22:00 IST
Last Updated : 01 September 2020, 22:00 IST

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Karnataka has formed a team of officials to study the pros and cons of selling liquor online, Excise Minister H Nagesh said on Tuesday. The minister added that the government was seriously pursuing the plan to allow alcoholic drinks to be delivered home.

“For online sale of liquor, a team of senior officers has been formed to visit places where the system has been implemented. The team will study the pros and cons, and look at whether or not it is successful and satisfactory. If it is, then we can do it,” he said.

At least half-a-dozen states, including Kerala and Maharashtra, have allowed online delivery of liquor.

Nagesh said wide consultation was required for the system to be launched in the state. “Service charge will be levied and consumers will have to be ready to pay it. Also, there is opposition from the wine merchants’ association. We will have to bring them on board as well,” the minister said.

“Once our team of officers submits a report, we will get the chief minister’s opinion and take a decision,” Nagesh said.

Under Unlock 4.0 starting September 1, Karnataka allowed bars, pubs and restaurants to serve liquor along with food at 50% seating capacity.

After a complete shutdown of liquor sales in March following the first Covid-19 lockdown, the state government allowed sale of liquor in May through MRP outlets. This was followed by permission for clubs, bars and restaurants to clear their stock, while later that month, pubs with RVB (Retail Vend of Beer) were also allowed to clear their stock.

“Now that it is business as usual in clubs, pubs, bars and restaurants, we expect a daily revenue of about Rs 80 crore,” Nagesh said.

According to government data, the excise revenue at the end of August is Rs 7,580 crores, lower than Rs 9,131 crores in the corresponding period last year. But revenues are rising, having gone up from Rs 1,387 cr in May to
Rs 7,580 crores now.

The excise revenue target for 2020-21 fiscal is Rs 22,700 crores.

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Published 01 September 2020, 16:41 IST

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