Maharashtra to launch e-token system for buying liquor

ST Correspondent
Monday, 11 May 2020

After Delhi, Maharashtra now is set to launch e-token system for buying liquor to avoid huge rush at liquor shops

The Uddhav Thackeray-led Maharashtra government, on a pilot project, will announce an e-token system for the sale of liquor in the State.

The system of e-token has already begun in cities such as Pune and Nashik on Sunday. Incidentally dissimilar in the capital state Delhi, the web link of the e-token system in Maharashtra will not be hosted on a government platform.

Under the e-token systems, customers, after picking their district and nearby shop, will be given a definite time slot for buying liquor, reducing the wait and the queues stretching one km at the stores. The launch of the token system comes after the State witnessed a huge rush outside the liquor shops, whereas norms of social distance were also broken.

Because of the crowding, the Mumbai Municipal Corporation recently decided to keep 1,169 liquor shops closed within its jurisdiction till the further notice.

While talking to CNBC-TV18, Rajesh Tope, State’s Health Minister said that the government has no plans to re-open shops of liquor till May 17 in Mumbai.

ONLINE DELIVERY OF LIQUOR

The push for online liquor sales comes at a time when State income has been clutched because of the extended lockdown amid COVID-19. 

Maharashtra has started identifying the choice of allowing home delivery of liquor as an alternative to relax overcrowding and guarantee social distancing.

The liquor industry, along with restaurants and some online food aggregators have requested the state government to permit home delivery of alcohol.

Anurag Katriar, President, National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) said, “We are truly living in unprecedented times where on one hand we are sitting with expensive liquor inventory and on the other hand, we are cash starved.”

Meanwhile, Maharashtra has licensed 4,159 country liquor stores and 4,947 beer shops.

Also read: COVID-19 update: Delhi starts e-token system for liquor purchases to avoid overcrowding

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