Maharashtra minister says online liquor sales allowed, backtracks afterwards
On Sunday, a minister from Maharashtra said that the BJP-led government had allowed online liquor sales in the state, but backtracked later and said that only a proposal for online liquor sales had been received. Interestingly, last month, a senior excise department official had told PTI that the state was looking to increase revenue collection by allowing online liquor sales. Here are the details.
What the minister had to say about online liquor sales
On Sunday morning, excise minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule told reporters that online liquor sales would be allowed in a bid to try and reduce instances of drunken driving in the state. However, he did not specify when such sales would be allowed. Shortly afterwards, possibly fearing a backlash, he reversed his stance, saying that only a proposal had been received regarding online liquor sales.
Bawankule's exact words about online liquor sales
"We have a received an application requesting framing of a policy for purchase of liquor online from home. However, the government has not thought about it, nor there has been any policy (framed)," Bawankule told reporters in Nagpur.
Maharashtra government has lost revenue due to liquor shop closures
The ambiguous announcement by Bawankule comes at a time when the Maharashtra government has lost a significant chunk of revenue owing to closure of around 3,000 liquor shops near highways based on a Supreme Court order. Additionally, the state excise department, recently, also took action against 35 liquor shops for delivering liquor to people's doorsteps based on orders received through WhatsApp.