With the Delhi government allowing all the shops in the market and shopping complexes to operate on an odd-even basis, the national capital can expect more liquor shops to open across the city. However, those in malls will remain shut.
Speaking to IANS, an official from the Delhi Excise Department said no separate order for the same has been issued as of now.
"No separate order has been issued as of now. As per the Delhi government''s guidelines, the liquor shops have also not been barred. We will have a detailed analysis and release an order in a day or two," the official told IANS.
As the Delhi government eases restrictions in the lockdown 4.0 from Monday, it allowed all markets and market complexes to open on an odd-even basis.
"Shops would open on alternate days depending on their shop number. This implies that only 50 per cent of the shops (excluding those selling essential goods) shall be opened. However, shops selling essential goods including books and stationery shops, fan shops in markets and market complexes, are permitted to open on all days," the Delhi government order said.
Also, it says that all the stand alone (single) shops, neighbourhood (colony) shops and shops in residential complexes are permitted to remain open without any distinction of essential and non-essential.
"Social distancing (2 Gaz ki doori) will be maintained in all cases. If social distancing is not maintained by any shop, then the said shop shall be liable to be closed in view of public health hazard involved in containing the spread of Covid-19 pandemic and the shopkeeper shall also be liable for prosecution under the relevant laws," the order said.
According to official data, Delhi has more than 850 liquor shops, of which around 150 are located in malls and at the airport.
As malls have not been allowed in the lockdown 4.0, about 700 liquor shops which are either standalone or located in markets are expected to be open. Of these, about 200 are standalone of which 100 were already allowed under the standalone criteria since May 4.
While these standalone can operate all day, those in the market will be opened on an odd-even basis, the official added.
The government has imposed a special corona fee on the liquor, which is 70 per cent of the MRP.
Also, to ease the crowd at these shops, an e-coupon system has been imposed which allows people to visit a particular liquor shop on a given date and time. Revenue from liquor has been a major portion of earning for the government.