The Odisha government on Saturday imposed a 50% ‘Special COVID Fee’ on the maximum retail price of liquor while allowing home delivery of alcohol in the State from Sunday.
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The government amended relevant provisions under the Odisha Excise Rules, 2017, for facilitating home delivery of liquor. Existing liquor shops situated in areas other than containment zones and shopping malls can start home delivery of liquor.
“The government has introduced a Special COVID Fee by amending the relevant rules and increased the MRPs of all types of foreign liquor and beer by 50% of the MRPs prevailing last year (2019-20),” the State Excise Department said in a statement.
The additional revenue to be generated would go towards meeting the expenses being incurred by the State government in the treatment of COVID-19 patients and other related activities, it said.
“Home delivery of liquor can be taken up by retailers directly and also through reputed food aggregators, standard technology platforms and delivery service providers acting as retail aggregators,” said the government.
Retail liquor licensees would need to prominently display outside their shops, the phone and WhatsApp numbers, e-mail and UPI details for receiving the orders and facilitating digital payments, as per the government’s amended rules.
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The Odisha State Beverages Corporation (OSBC) would also display the district-wise list of licensees, along with their details, as well as the latest MRP on liquor on the State-run corporation’s website.
Retailers can only engage the food aggregators, standard technology platforms and delivery service providers acting as retail aggregators for the purpose of home delivery of liquor, after the licensees have obtained a specific NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the State Excise Commissioner.
The delivery charge has been fixed at ₹100 for orders up to ₹1,000 and thereafter ₹25 for every additional ₹500 in order value. In no case would the delivery charge be allowed to exceed ₹300. Normal timing for home delivery would be between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The delivery personnel would have to follow all the prescribed norms including wearing masks, maintaining six feet distance and using a sanitiser frequently. No person with symptoms, or who is unwell, should be engaged for home delivery, the Excise Department said.