Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Saturday gave its nod for the resumption of liquor sale in the State by starting home delivery and imposed a 'special Covid fees' on MRP of the alcohol. The home delivery of liquor will begin in the State from tomorrow (May 24).
As per a notification issued by the Excise department, Odisha government has decided to allow home delivery of liquor from the existing ON and OFF shops of IMFL and Beer situated in areas other than containment zones and shopping malls by amending the relevant provisions under Excise Rules, 2017.
However, there will be no counter sale of liquor by excise licensees, the notification read.
A customer will have to shell out extra for the purchasing liquor as the State government has imposed the ‘Special Covid Fee” by amending the relevant rules and increased the MRPs of all types of foreign liquor and Beer by 50% of the MRPs prevailing last year (2019-20).
The additional revenue generated will go towards meeting the expenses being incurred by the State government in the treatment of Covid-19 patients and other related activities.
As per the decision, the Home delivery of liquor can be taken up by retailers directly and also through reputed food aggregators, standard technology platforms, delivery service providers etc. acting as retail aggregators.
Excise department has categorically instructed ON/OFF shop licensees to display their phone/mobile/WhatsApp no./email IDs/UPI details for receiving the orders and facilitating digital payments outside their shop.
The district-wise list of ON/OFF shops licensees along with their details will be uploaded on OSBC website (osbc.co.in). The product-wise latest MRP will also be displayed on the website. The retailers can receive orders for home delivery of liquor over phone or through SMS, whatsapp, email etc.
Strict instructions have been issued to retailers to ensure that there is no crowding in front of their shops.
The food aggregators, standard technology platforms, delivery service providers acting as retail aggregators for the purpose of home delivery of liquor can be engaged by retailers only when they have taken NOC (No Objection Certificate) from Excise Commissioner, Odisha. The list of agencies granted NOC by Excise Commissioner will be published on the website of OSBC(Odisha State Beverage Corporation Ltd).
The retailers/aggregators shall abide by the MRP notification issued by OSBC Ltd. from time to time failing which appropriate legal action shall be initiated.
No extra charge beyond notified MRP plus delivery charges (as notified by Excise Commissioner) shall be demanded/collected from consumers.
In case of electronic payment (inter-bank transaction/credit card etc.), any nominal commission charged by the bank can also be realised from the customer.
Excise Commissioner has been authorized to decide on the rates for delivery charges from time to time. The ceiling notified by him at present is Rs 100 for orders up to Rs 1000 and thereafter Rs 25 for every additional Rs 500 order value. In no case the delivery charge will exceed Rs 300. The aggregators can fix their own rates subject to the above ceiling.
Normal timing for Home delivery would be between 7 AM to 6 PM. Orders are expected to be delivered within 6 hours.
The retailers and other agencies involved in home delivery have to abide by the legal provisions of the maximum quantity of liquor that can be transported in each delivery. They will also have to develop an appropriate mechanism to enforce the legal age of drinking and other restrictions imposed by law in the State.
The retailers/aggregators will have to follow the legal provisions relating to advertisement & publicity for liquor. No picture/image/infographics/video etc. or alluring offers for promotion of any products/brand will be done through their mobile application, portal, website or any such digital platforms created for placing orders.
The delivery persons would be required to carry an I-Card issued by the retailer/agency and an invoice which will also act a pass to facilitate movement. The concerned person will deliver the items along with the invoice in lieu of the payment. The invoice of the purchase should clearly reflect the name & address of the customer, the description and quantity of the liquor dispatched with MRP, the time and date of dispatch of the liquor, the price if paid or to be paid, delivery charges, and the bank charges, wherever applicable, separately.
The delivery boys will have to follow all the social distancing norms like wearing masks, maintaining six feet distance and using sanitizer frequently. No person having any symptom or is unwell should be engaged for home delivery. Digital payment is advisable which will facilitate contactless transactions and ensure social distancing.
“It is to further clarify that online sale of liquor is based on consent/agreement between the buyers and the sellers/third part aggregators/delivery service providers and retailers. The State will not be a party to any possible dispute between/amongst them. However, breach of any term and condition fixed by the government or any legal provisions by any party/parties shall invite appropriate legal action,” the statement read.
(Edited by Pradip Singh)