Mumbai, May 12 (IANS) For the first time, the Maharashtra government has permitted conditional doorstep delivery of all types of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) to the homes of customers provided they hold valid permits, officials said here on Tuesday.

In a late-night order of Monday from Valsa Nair-Singh, Principal Secretary (Excise), licensed wine shops have been allowed to deliver IMFL like spirits, beers, mild liquors and wines to “liquor permit holders” to their doorsteps.

The order specified that the sale and delivery of the liquors would be allowed only in the jurisdiction of the licensed premises at the specified day and timings, provided the permit holder has placed an order for the same.

The wine shops would have to ensure that the liquor delivery boys use face masks and sanitisers regularly in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the government made it clear that this (doorstep delivery) is only valid during the lockdown period and would be subject to modifications or cancellations at any time.

The move comes a week after the government had ‘uncorked’ wine stores and was aghast by the flood of tipplers outside the shops across the state, throwing all norms of physical distancing to the winds.

Stunned by the public backlash, the orders were rescinded by several districts in the state, including Mumbai, amid a clamour that online sales or home-delivery must be permitted.

Another fallout of the long queues – at places upto 3-4 km long – was many unabashed boozers resorting to bulk purchases, resulting in stocks running dry, leaving other angry tipplers high and dry.

While some like Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray were in support of the move to enable the state earn revenues, others like Prakash Amte and Trupti Desai stoutly opposed it on various grounds.

–IANS

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