The first phase of the online sale of liquor in Assam has been limited to the Guwahati Municipal Corporation area. It will be extended to other parts of the state gradually. A notification issued by the Excise department stated that the step has been taken due to COVID induced restrictions imposed by the government as well as the Supreme Court and Madras High Court orders permitting non-direct sale including online home delivery of liquor to avoid overcrowding and facilitate social distancing norms in terms of the pandemic guidelines.
The online sale of all Indian Made Foreign Liquor/beer/country spirit retail 'OFF' shops in the Guwahati Municipal Corporation areas has been introduced with immediate effect, an official release said on Friday. States like West Bengal, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala and Punjab have already introduced online sales and home delivery of liquor. "In view of the pandemic, the circumstances (that) exist, which render it necessary to permit the online sale of liquor which shall also curb consumption of illicit liquor," the release said. Here are some other guidelines for home delivery of liquor mentioned in the release.
- Permission for online sale through Apps only will be granted, provided the Indian Made Foreign Liquor/beer/country spirit retail ‘OFF’ retailers possess valid licenses.
- The eligible retailers will have to register themselves on the App developed solely for this purpose by a furnishing copy of valid license, location of the premises, list of delivery agents with name, address, phone number, photographs and other details.
- The delivery agent shall not be less than 21 years of age and each retailer can engage a maximum of 10 delivery agents.
- The eligible customer will have to register on the online portal furnishing proof of age and address.
- The eligible customer can order online up to three litres of liquor but the delivery agent can carry a maximum of nine litres of liquor at a time.
- The order shall be executed against prepayment only and the delivery be ordinarily completed within two hours of receiving orders.
- Online home delivery will be between 11 am to 10 pm subject to compliance with the lockdown restrictions issued by competent authorities from time to time.
- The online sale of liquor shall not be available for hostels of educational institutions, government/non-government/semi government offices and other public and religious places.
- The retailers would have to abide by Maximum Retail Price (MRP) fixed by the Assam Excise Department, failing which appropriate legal action will be taken against them.
- The delivery charges will be Rs 50 per order for a distance of less than 1 km and Rs 75 per order for a distance between 1 km and 2 km.
- In addition to delivery charges, service charges and internet payment gateway charges, as may be applicable, will be borne by the customer.
- Registered retailers may accept or reject any order within 10 minutes, if the order is not serviceable for any reason.
- In case an order is rejected by a retailer, a fresh order shall be generated by the customer by choosing another registered retailer. If the retailer fails to respond to the order within 10 minutes, the order shall be deemed to be rejected.
- The delivery agent shall have to follow all the social distancing norms like wearing masks, maintaining six feet distance and using sanitiser frequently.
- No person having any symptoms relating to pandemic or if unwell shall be engaged for home delivery.