Delhi's excise department has allowed 66 private liquor shops to reopen their businesses under odd-even rule amid the coronavirus-induced lockdown.
According to the excise department, liquor outlets can be opened between 9 AM to 6:30 PM in Delhi until May 31.
However, liquor shops in malls will remain closed in accordance with the government's order.
The excise department had asked private vendors to give an undertaking that their outlets do not fall under COVID-19 containment zones in order to open liquor shops. The Delhi excise department also made it clear that private liquor vends could not open without conducting MSR (monthly stock record) activity.
"Accordingly, all L-7 licensees (private liquor shops) are directed to conduct MSR activity between May 19 and May 21, 2020... Only after submission of the MSR compliance report and the undertaking, the shops will be allowed to open on an odd-even basis," the order said.
There are a total of 863 liquor shops in Delhi, of which 389 are owned by private individuals. Whereas, 475 alcohol stores are run by four government corporations--Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation, Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation, Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation and Delhi Consumer's Cooperative Wholesale.
Of the 389 such shops, about 150 are located in shopping malls and are not allowed to open till May 31 when the fourth phase of lockdown ends.
Earlier, the Delhi excise department had permitted all government liquor vends to open in the city, except those in malls and containment zones on May 4, which resulted in long queues at these outlets.
Later, the government introduced an e-token system under which customers are given a specific date and time to buy liquor in order to avoid overcrowding and long queues.
In Delhi, there is a 70 per cent corona fee on the sale of liquor.