In these challenging times of the coronavirus pandemic, the whole world is on standstill. India has also enacted lockdown since March and people have restricted access to essential commodities. After the ease of restrictions on essential commodities, many online businesses have started delivering daily essentials. India’s food delivery company Zomato also started delivering groceries and food orders. Now, according to a document seen by Reuters, the company wants to branch out into delivering alcohol amid countrywide lockdown.
Zomato has already started delivering groceries since April but the company seeks to cash in on high demand for booze. It is reportedly planning to branch out into delivering alcohol.
In India, there is currently no legal provision for home deliveries of alcoholic beverages. But Zomato aims to change this with its initiative of delivering alcohol. “We believe that a technology-enabled home delivery based solution can promote responsible consumption of alcohol“, wrote Mohit Gupta, Zomato’s CEO for food delivery, in a business proposal to ISWAI. This move is said to deter the unusual crowd in wine shops. Zomato plans to deliver alcohol targeting “areas that are relatively less affected by COVID-19.”
While responding to the proposal, ISWAI’s executive chairman Amrit Kiran positively said, “It is imperative they (states) reduce the load on the retail counter, by encouraging home delivery.” He said that states should allow alcohol deliveries to help boost state revenues hit by the lockdown.
Various states of the country has set different legal limits for the age to drink alcohol. It usually varies from 18 years to 25 years.
Actions of the State Governments
Alcohol stores were closed nationwide on March 25 when the country went into lockdown and were again allowed to re-open this week. This generated queues of hundreds of people outside some wine shops in some cities. To prevent the large crowds, authorities in Delhi introduced a “Special Corona Fee” of 70%. While in Mumbai, authorities revoked the sales of alcohol within two days of reopening them.
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