Following the relaxations allowing the opening of the standalone shops including the wine shops, in the third phase of the lockdown, the Government of Delhi has imposed “a special corona fee” of 70 percent of maximum retail price (MRP) on all types of liquor that will be sold in the Capital. The revised prices are in effect from Tuesday, May 5.
Anil Baijal, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi has given a nod to the government’s decision and following his approval, the Government’s Finance Department released an official notification. Addressing about the loss incurred by the ban on liquor sales due to lockdown, senior government officials said that it has costed around Rs 645 crore when calculated on the basis of the revised estimates in the 2019-20 state budget. However, the excise department is preparing a detailed report on the total loss incurred by the ban on liquor sales.
The move by the government will certainly boost the revenue but will also result in a steep rise in the prices of the retail liquor bottle. According to the finance department, 70 percent of the MRP will be levied on all categories of the liquor sold through licensed retail stores.
Due to the 40-day lockdown imposed in the country, the wine shops were allowed to resume their operations from May 4 on the condition that the social distancing norms will be followed strictly. However, long queues were seen in front of the shops and the police were forced to shut down a few shops as people compromised social distancing to buy liquor. Following this, Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister, Delhi warned that the shops reopened will not be allowed to remain functional if social distancing is being compromised.
As per the relaxations from the Centre, there are as many as 150 government-run liquor shops which have been allowed to return to business and can operate from 9 am to 6:30 pm.