Zomato wants home delivery of liquor, proposal placed before ISWAI

Pune alcohol ban
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New Delhi, May 7, 2020: Online food delivery company Zomato also wants home delivery of liquor in the country. Zomato has written a letter to the International Spirits and Wine Association of India (ISWAI) for this. In this letter, Zomato has offered online delivery of alcohol. Zomato wants to capitalize on this opportunity, given the increased liquor demand amid the nationwide lockdown enforced due to the Coronavirus epidemic.

Zomato’s online food delivery business has suffered a lot due to the lockdown. For this reason, they have also started home delivery of grocery and now it wants to do home delivery of liquor. News agency Reuters has seen a letter to ISWAI from Zomato proposing online order and home delivery of alcohol.

Liquor shops are very crowded
To prevent coronavirus infection in India, the complete lockdown has been imposed since 24 March. During this time liquor shops were also closed in the country, but after the relaxation by the central government in the third phase lockdown implemented from May 4, the states allowed liquor shops to open. The opening of liquor shops saw a huge crowd of customers, which also violated the physical distance law (social distancing) in many places.

Alcohol is an important source of revenue for states
It is worth noting that the Excise Department is a major medium of revenue for the states. The intention of states to raise revenue is also believed to be behind the permission of the state governments to open liquor shops. The Delhi government has also imposed 70 per cent special corona fee on liquor given the huge demand and crowd outside shops. At the same time, liquor shops have been closed again just two days after opening in Mumbai due to overcrowding. In Pune, also there is too much crowd outside the wine shops and now new guidelines have been issued.

No rule for online delivery at present
There is currently no legal provision for online delivery of alcohol in India. According to a Reuters report, the International Spirits and Wine Association of India is now lobbying for home delivery of wine. Online delivery companies are also making continuous efforts for this approval.

Zomato CEO (food delivery) Mohit Gupta wrote in a business proposal to ISWAI, “We believe a technology-driven home delivery based solution can increase alcohol consumption.” According to a Reuters report, Gupta wrote that Zomato would target areas that are least affected by the coronavirus.