K’taka govt sets up team of officials to study online liquor sale


PTI, Sep 2, 2020, 8:32 AM IST

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Bengaluru: The Karnataka government has constituted a team of officials to study the pros and cons of online liquor sale, and a decision will be taken in this regard based on its report and after due consultation, State Excise Minister H Nagesh said on Tuesday, September 1.

He said that the team will study the success rate of online sales in the states where it has been implemented.

“Regarding online liquor sale, we have constituted a team of senior officials to visit and study wherever it is implemented and look into the pros and cons. Whether it (online sale) is going on successfully, up to the mark, and is it satisfactory,” Nagesh said.

Speaking to reporters here, he said the government will not take any hasty decision in this regard and all necessary procedures and consultation will be followed before taking a final call.

“After looking into the pros and cons, once the report comes and after consulting the Chief Minister we will make a decision,” he said.

The Minister also noted that with the online sales there will be additional service charges on the consumers, which the people will have to agree to.

“There is also opposition to it from the wine merchants association, their consent is also required and we will have to talk to them,” he added.

According to reports, several states including Kerala and Maharashtra, have already launched the online delivery of liquor.

With the easing of restrictions under Unlock 4, the Karnataka government has allowed Bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants in the state to serve liquor with 50 percent of their seating capacity from Tuesday.

The state government had in May had allowed the sale of liquor through MRP outlets.

This was followed by permission for bars, microbreweries, pubs, and others to clear out their stocks, but in-house service was not allowed.

According to the Excise department’s data, the excise revenue at the end of August is Rs 7,580 crore, lower than Rs 9,131 crore during the corresponding period last year.

However, the revenue has considerably gone up since May, when the government allowed sale through MRP outlets, and at that time it was Rs 1,387 crore.

Karnataka government has targeted the excise revenue for 2020-21 fiscal to be Rs 22,700 crore.

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