Delhi Government has imposed a 'Special Corona Fees' of 70% tax on Maximum Retail Price (MRP) of the liquor. The revised prices will reflect from Tuesday across national capital.
Earlier on Monday, 150 state-run liquor shops were opened in Delhi after a gap of 40 days in a bid to boost the government's depleting coffers, which has been hit hard due to the coronavirus-forced lockdown.
The announcement came after some liquor shops opened in the national capital on Monday after a 40-day nationwide lockdown to combat novel coronavirus outbreak and were closed after they were found flouting social distancing norms.
However, soon after the liquor shops opened, the sellers were ordered to shut them since people who gathered outside the outlets did not follow social distancing norms, and the police had to use mild force in some cases to disperse the unruly crowd.
People queued up in large numbers in the morning at the liquor shops.
Following the outcome of people thronging the liquor shops ignoring all social distancing norms, the Delhi Police's Special Branch prepared a report and suggested that the timing for sale of alcohol be extended to avoid crowding at the outlets.
Later, the Delhi Excise Commissioner wrote to Delhi Police Commissioner stating, "Directions may be conveyed to field functionaries that liquor vends of 4 government corporations as per list finalised by them in pursuance to order of this department should be allowed to function from 9 am to 6:30 pm." Earlier, the timings of the liquor shops was 10 am to 7 pm.
According to an official, about 150 government-run liquor shops have been allowed to open from 9 am to 6.30 pm in accordance with the latest lockdown relaxations given by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
Delhi government earns revenue of ₹5,000 crore from the sale of liquor.
The government has directed four state-run agencies, which are responsible to sell liquor, to deploy adequate marshals at these shops.
There are around 850 liquor shops in the city including those run by government agencies and private individuals. In an order earlier, the excise department also directed officials to identify liquor shops, which are being run by private individuals (L-7 licensee) and fulfil conditions laid down by the MHA.
The officials have been asked to submit a report within three days. The government has so far allowed only those liquor shops (L-6 and L-8) to operate which are being run by four state-run agencies.
With inputs from agencies