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Alcohol purchase is differently regulated in India in pandemy conditions

Maharashtra Government Excise department in India  today released a circular to allow home delivery of liquor to avoid crowding in shops.

Any person of legal drinking age (21 for beer, 25 for other spirits) can opt for home delivery of alcohol by making calls to the local retailers. The person assigned for the delivery should use mask and hand sanitizer at frequent intervals. The licensee (seller) has been allowed to sell only Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL), i.e., spirits, beer, mild liquor, and wines. For the residents of Pune and Nashik, who can also physically visit stores to pick up alcohol, acquiring e-tokens would be mandatory. The order is not applicable in Mumbai and urban Thane, where the sale of liquor is still not allowed. Alcohol will be available, though, along the Mumbai-Nashik Highway.

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The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) is said to expecting to decide about opening the wine shops. Goa on Tuesday became the latest state to hike excise duty on liquor amid the slowing down of the economy due to the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown. The increase in excise duty on liquor was announced by chief minister Pramod Sawant during budget earlier this year. Many states including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal decided to raise taxes on liquor to mop up revenue to fight Covid-19.

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