GLOBAL & LOCAL DRINKS GIANTS URGED INDIA TO ALLOW ONLINE ALCOHOL SALE
By Siulan Law Mathews DipWSET
Credit: Ravi Sharma/Unsplash
Trade organisations representing global and local drinks businesses in India have urged the Indian authorities to allow online sale of alcohol and proposed launching a government portal to facilitate deliveries.
International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI) - its members include global giants like Diageo, Pernod Ricard and Browen-Forman - and the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) have both lobbied the Indian authorities to take opportunity of the lockdown to allow alcohol e-commerce.
Amrit Kiran Singh, Executive Chairman of ISWAI, said he has written a letter to Minister of Consumer Affairs Ram Vilas Paswan to argue for online vending of alcohol.
In his letter to the minister, Singh said excise revenues account for approximately 20 per cent of states’ total revenues and, therefore, closure of liquor shops would pose a significant risk.
“The states should consider this as an opportunity to test the waters on e-tailing of alcoholic beverages. It is further in line with the central government directive to allow e-commerce players to operate during the lockdown. E-tailing of alco-bev products is already permitted in most parts of the world across Europe, Asia and America,” Singh said.
Meanwhile, in a letter sent to Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal, Health Minister Harsha Yardhan and chief ministers of all state governments, the CIABC suggested that a government portal can be launched to facilitate home deliveries of alcohol. Liquor shops can enrol to sell alcohol through online applications in a marketplace model.
"Assuming that social distancing will be new normal going forward, government may consider institutionalising home delivery as a separate channel administered online. It is our view that the government may consider setting up its own portal for facilitating home deliveries and/or permit food delivery aggregators to do so," Director-General of CIABC Vinod Giri said in the letter.
The letter further suggested that shops should be given licenses for 3 to 4 home delivery workers and the government can control the frequency and the amount of liquor being delivered.
Consumers can place orders online or through a phone call along with identity proof for age verification.
The letter also suggested that shops could be asked to fill online applications and pay a license fee for door-to-door delivery.
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