All 11 districts of Delhi have been marked under 'red zone' in the third phase of the coronavirus lockdown starting April 4 but the government has decided to allow the sale of liquor at some state-run shops. The government has started preparations to ensure all social distancing norms are followed by people.
Dealing with the problem of dipping revenues, Delhi government's excise department on Saturday asked four state-run agencies to prepare a list of L6 (Indian made foreign liquor-IMFL) and L8 (country liquor) for retail sale. These state-run corporations include Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation Limited (DSCSCL) Delhi Consumer's Cooperative Wholesale Store Limited (DCCWSL), Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), and Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC).
Notably, the Centre has allowed the sale of liquor in all zones, excluding containment zones, to deal with the major drop in revenues. Over 450 shops that come under these corporations in Delhi will be allowed to sell liquor only after they certify that all social distancing norms will be followed. Liquor sale amounts to 14 per cent of the Delhi government's revenue, while GST and VAT account for 70 per cent and 10 per cent revenue, respectively. The lockdown has dried up the Delhi government's revenue. The state government earned just Rs 323 crore in April compared to Rs 3,566 crore during the same month last year.
Besides, liquor makers have asked the Delhi government to waive various excise fees during lockdown. Though the Delhi government has extended the licence for another three months till June 30, it has asked liquor firms to pay licence charges on pro-rata basis in advance. The total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases rose to 39,980 on Sunday, including 28,046 active cases, 10,632, 1 migrated and 1,301 deaths, the Union health ministry says. The country recorded 2,644 fresh COVID-19 cases, 83 deaths in the last 24 hours, which is the biggest one-day jump in coronavirus cases in India.