Online sale of liquor in Guwahati starts


GUWAHATI: Online sale of liquor in the Guwahati Municipal Corporation area has started.

A notification to this effect was brought out by Principal Secretary, Excise, Rajesh Prasad on Tuesday.

The online sale of liquor in the first phase is limited to Guwahati Municipal Corporation area only, which may be further extended to other areas of the state by the Excise authorities.

Citing the COVID induced restrictions imposed by the government as well as the Supreme Court and  Madras High Court orders permitting non-direct sale including online home delivery of liquor to avoid overcrowding and to facilitate social distancing norms in terms of COVID-19 guidelines, the order stated that online sale of all Indian Made Foreign Liquor/beer/country spirit retail ‘OFF’ shops in the Guwahati Municipal Corporation areas has been introduced.

It may be mentioned that states like West Bengal, Orissa, Chattisgarh, Delhi, Karnataka, Kerala and Punjab have already introduced online sale and home delivery of liquor.

“In view of the pandemic, the circumstances (that) exist, which render it necessary to permit online sale of liquor which shall also curb consumption of illicit liquor,” the order said.

Amendment is made to the Assam Excise Rules, 2016, now called the Assam Excise (Amendment) Rules, 2021 with insertion of new rule 323A namely ‘Online sale/home delivery of liquor’.

“Permission for online sale through APP only will be granted only provided the Indian Made Foreign Liquor/beer/country spirit retail ‘OFF’ retailers possess valid licences,” stated an official press release.

The eligible retailers will have to register themselves on the App developed solely for this purpose by furnishing copy of valid license, location of the premises, list of delivery agents with name, address, phone number, photographs and other details. The delivery agent shall not be less than 21 years of age. Each retailer can engage a maximum of 10 delivery agents.

The order stated that eligible customer will have to register on the online portal furnishing proof of age and address. The eligible customer can order online up to three litres (bulk litre) of liquor. However, the delivery agent can carry a maximum of nine litres of liquor at a time.

“The order shall be executed against prepayment only and the delivery be ordinarily completed within two hours of receiving orders, ” it stated.

Online home delivery will be between 11.00 AM to 10.00 PM subject to compliance with the lockdown restrictions issued by competent authorities from time to time.

The online sale of liquor shall not be available for hostels of educational institutions, Government/non-Government/semi Government offices and other public and religious places.

The order stated that the retailers would have to abide by Maximum Retail Price (MRP) fixed by the Assam Excise Department, failing which appropriate legal action will be taken against them.

The delivery charges will be Rs.50/- per order for a distance of less than 1 km and Rs.75/- per order for a distance between 1 km and 2 km. In addition to delivery charges, service charges and internet payment gateway charges, as may be applicable, will be borne by the customer.

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