In view of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Assam government on Wednesday has decided to sell liquor online in Guwahati for the next one month on an experimental basis. Assam Minister Pijush Hazarika confirmed that if the experimental plan succeeds then the government will expand it to the entire state. Speaking to ANI Hazarika said: “Assam Cabinet has decided that liquor will be sold online in Guwahati for a month on an experimental basis. If it succeeds, we will expand it to the entire state.”
Cabinet minister Keshab Mahanta also while addressing a press conference said, “During the COVID time, we have seen a huge rush in front of liquor shops in the evening or at the time of closure. Showing respect to Supreme Court and Madras high court’s takeaway orders in this regard. Our cabinet on principle has decided to give assent to online sale of liquor,” he added
Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma took to the microblogging platform and explained states’ newly introduced plans, he said that the state government has decided to provide relief in calamity-hit areas, improve education at the grassroots, and boost economic activities in tea gardens and rural areas.
We took some important decisions in today’s #AssamCabinet to further administrative reforms in the State.
We also decided to provide relief in calamity-hit areas, improve education at grassroots, boost economic activities in tea garden and rural areas, among others. pic.twitter.com/UXli6vGVrQ
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) July 14, 2021
According to CM Sarma, in winters when production is less in tea gardens, employees will get a chance to work in road construction and pond excavation through MNREGA jobs. Two places in Assam namely Golaghat and Sarupathar were declared as drought-hit revenue.
This came after the Assam cabinet tabled the Cow Protection Bill 2021 on the first day of the budget session of the assembly that commenced on Monday. The new bill proposes to ban interstate transport of cows via Assam, with the aim to check the smuggling of the animals to neighbouring Bangladesh.
Earlier, the Meghalaya government had also introduced a new rule in the state, for providing licenses for home delivery of liquor by wine shops in the state.
Why is liquor being sold online?
Many states in India are now focusing on the sale of liquors, as alcohol is believed to be a quick revenue-generating product. According to a study by Fitch Group company and a research firm, Indian Ratings & Research, it has been proved that states like Himachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Karnataka, and Rajasthan earn more than 20% of their state revenue from liquor sales.