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    Push centre to restart liquor sale; alcohol a state matter: CIABC writes to state govts

    Push centre to restart liquor sale; alcohol a state matter: CIABC writes to state govts

    Push centre to restart liquor sale; alcohol a state matter: CIABC writes to state govts
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Published)

    The Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) has again written to state governments, asking them to convince the Centre to start sale of liquor in non-COVID-19 hotspots.
    In its release, CIABC pointed out that constitutionally, alcohol was a state matter, and hence state governments should unequivocally be the only authority to decide on trade in alcohol.
    The alcohol body pointed out that states have already lost Rs 20,000 crore excise revenue because of the nationwide lockdown which began on March 24.
    Interestingly, liquor is the only industry which is keen to resume operations right away, if given the approval. Many industries, large and small, like cement, auto, garments have said there are in no hurry to resume operations before May 3 because of operational challenges.
    On Monday, Maharashtra Health Minister Rajesh Tope said that there should not be any ban on liquor shops in the state if social distancing norms were followed.
    Already, some states like Meghalaya and Assam have allowed liquor shops and wholesale warehouses to remain open for limited hours since last week.
    “Alcoholic beverage industry contributes around Rs 2 lakh crore per annum as revenues to the government,” CIABC Director General Vinod Giri said in the release.
    “Tax on alcohol consists of 20-40 percent of tax revenues of states. A total ban on liquor deprives state governments of own revenue so vitally required in fighting COVID-19,” Giri said.
    Among other things, CIABC has also requested that state governments in general should allow home deliveries of alcohol subject to necessary checks
    and diligence.
     
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