J&K excise deptt seeks alcohol home delivery amid coronavirus lockdown

JAMMU, Apr 25 (Agencies): Amid coronavirus lockdown to combat the spread of COVID-19, the Jammu and Kashmir Excise Department seeks permission for home delivery of liquor in Jammu and Kashmir.
“The excise department has written to the government for allowing home delivery of alcohol as the department is facing a loss of Rs 110 crore per month and in order to fight Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) by avoiding crowding and ensuring social distancing,” an official said.
The liquor vends—wine shops and bars with restaurants were ordered to be closed by respective District Magistrates in their districts at the end of the March as being non-essential commodities.
“We have written to the administration for home delivery of liquor, for at least two hours in a day, in the same way the grocery and other essential items are being delivered. The proposal in this connection has been mooted keeping in view of loss to the state exchequer and huge public demand,” reported The News Now quoting a senior Excise Officer.
The ball is now in the court of administration, he said.
Sharing further details, the officer said that in 2019, the Excise Department had generated revenue to the tune of Rs 1400 crore and this current year the department was expecting Rs 1600 crore as revenue.
He said that three pharmacy companies and two distilleries have been given permission for manufacturing hand sanitizers as they have spirit in abundance to be utilized for. These distilleries units included Trishul and Kashmir distilleries. He further said that while pharmacy companies are manufacturing the hand sanitizers these distilleries have yet to come up.
Pertinently, Excise department had been receiving complaints that several vendors are discreetly selling liquor that too on highly exorbitant rates in most parts of the Jammu province right under the nose of the law enforcement agencies following which the Excise and Taxation Officers were directed by the Excise Commissioner Rajesh Kumar Shavan that to ensure that liquor vends or bar with restaurant would operate only after getting a specific order from Excise Department and after verification of stocks.

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