Liquor at the table in restaurants and in hotel rooms in Delhi will be served even as the bars will remain closed, the government said on Thursday.
“Considering the revenue implications, Excise Department to issue necessary permission for service of liquor in the restaurants and clubs by licencees at the table and in the hotel rooms,” the Delhi government order said.
The order which was signed by the Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said under the Unlock guidelines, the Delhi government has allowed operation of restaurants subject to social distancing norms.
“In the Disaster Management Authority meeting held on August 19, the government has also allowed opening of hotels. Bars will remain closed under the Unlock guidelines of the Ministry of Home Affairs,” it said.
“However, several state governments including Assam, Punjab, and Rajasthan have permitted service of liquor by licencee holders under the Excise Rules at the table in the restaurants and clubs and in the hotel rooms,” the order said.
However, Delhi is now following the example of some states which have allowed liquor to be served. This is also necessitated by the burgeoning revenue loss that the states are facing as economic activity was disrupted during the lockdown and even after Unlock, is only just picking up.
It is estimated that 40 per cent restaurants that had shut down during the lockdown may never open again. The hospitality and tourism industry is the worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic in India and across the globe. It also helps the government to mop up revenue from increased sale of liquor sold and also boosts the footfall in restaurants and occupancy in hotels.
India on Thursday reported 69,652 infections in the last 24 hours – the biggest single-day spike in Coronavirus cases so far since Kerala, on January 30, reported the country’s first known case of the deadlt pandemic. As many as 977 fatalities were also reported in the same time period.
With this, the Coronavirus tally in the country has risen to 28,36,926 including 6,86,395 active cases, 20,96,665 cured and 53,866 deaths.