In an effort to curb the cases of drunken driving, the Maharashtra government is planning to allow the online sale and home delivery of liquor in the state.
“We want to curb the instances of drunken driving. Allowing home delivery of liquor will help in this,” Excise Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule said, adding that this would be a game changer for the liquor industry. Maharashtra is likely to be the first state in the country to bring in such a policy.
After the policy is introduced, alcoholic beverages would be retailed across the state via national and international e-commerce website, similar to grocery and vegetable retail sector right now, the minister said.
Aadhaar will play an important role in this scheme of things. The sellers would be directed to take complete details of their buyers ordering the drinks asking for home delivery to make sure that they are of legal drinking age. The legal drinking age for beer in Maharashtra is 21, whereas for other alcoholic beverages it is 25 years.
A senior official in the excise department told that increasing the revenue was also a prime objective behind the decision.
Due to the Supreme Court’s order, the government is losing sizable excise tax due to closure of around 3,000 liquor outlets located near the highways, he said. In 2017-18, excise duty contributed Rs 15,343 crore to the state’s treasury.
Also, the reduction in prices of petrol and diesel earlier this month has caused some strain on the state’s treasury, he added.