Live tv
search
  1. You Are At:
  2. English News
  3. India
  4. Maharashtra begins e-token system for liquor sale; mulls home delivery of alcohol

Maharashtra begins e-token system for liquor sale; mulls home delivery of alcohol

In addition to e-token system, the Maharashtra government is also exploring the option of permitting home delivery of liquor as an option to ease overcrowding and ensure social distancing.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: May 12, 2020 18:19 IST
Maharashtra starts e-token system for liquor sale; mulls home delivery of alcohol
Image Source : FILE PHOTO

Maharashtra starts e-token system for liquor sale; mulls home delivery of alcohol

The Maharashtra government has announced that it will start an online token or e-token system on a pilot basis for the sale of liquor in Nashik and Pune from Sunday to avoid crowding at shops. The move comes after tipplers gathered in large numbers outside liquor shops at several places in the state last week, defying the physical distancing norms to contain the spread of coronavirus.

Under the new system, a person can get a token by registering on the state excise departments portal and then go to the shop to buy liquor, a senior department official said on Monday. 

The system is based on an app developed by an association of wholesalers in Pune and Nashik region. Shoppers can download it and place an order from a nearby shop, upon which they will get a time-slot to go fetch it, an excise official told TOI.

“We will run a pilot of the e-token in a city within the Pune Metropolitan Area, to begin with. The plan is to then apply it across the state,” said a senior official from the state Excise department. The government is not in the favour of tie-ups of wine shops with food delivery apps, State excise officials are more inclined towards allowing local shops to undertake home deliveries.

Only those who get the token can go to the shop and buy liquor. It will help in preventing long queues of people outside liquor shops. Huge crowds outside shops put a lot of pressure on the state administration to enforce physical distancing, he said.

The government plans to issue a limited number of tokens for liquor sale to avoid crowding on the streets. The system will be started on a pilot basis in Pune city and if found successful, it will be replicated in other parts of the state, he added. 

Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi government has already introduced an e-token system to avoid overcrowding at liquor stores. However, unlike in Delhi, the web link for Maharashtra’s e-token system will not be hosted on a government platform. 

“The Wholesale Wine Merchants Association, an industry body, has developed an application software which will be used for issuance of e-tokens for liquor,” informed an official.

In addition, the Maharashtra government is also exploring the option of permitting home delivery of liquor as an option to ease overcrowding and ensure social distancing.  However, the government has promoted a liquor prohibition policy so far.

“We’re a prohibition state. The Maharashtra Prohibition Act, 1949, bans soliciting the use or consumption of alcohol. Even advertising or publishing leaflets related to alcohol is currently banned,” another senior official said.

While excise duty is the third-largest revenue grosser for the state’s exchequer, the government continues to promote a liquor prohibition policy on paper. Meanwhile, Maharashtra has licensed 4,159 country liquor stores, 1,686 wine shops, and 4,947 beer shops.

So far, Punjab, West Bengal, and Chattisgarh have permitted online delivery of liquor. Moreover, Chattishgarh and Delhi, which have liquor vends run by a state-owned corporation, have also introduced the token system.

ALSO READ | You can get alcohol home delivered in Maharashtra, but conditions apply

 

Latest India News