It’s official: No home delivery of liquor in Kerala

MV Govindan

Thiruvananthapuram: The government should make a policy decision to allow home delivery of alcoholic beverages in the state, and hence such an initiative is not possible now, Kerala's Minister for Excise M V Govindan said here on Sunday. 

The government, however, has been mulling the resumption of the booking system. The minister held talks on this regard with the managing director of State Beverages Corporation. 

During the 2020 lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19, the government had released an app, BevQ, enabling customers to book a timeslot to purchase liquor from private bars and government-run outlets. The app was introduced to avoid crowding at outlets. It was withdrawn after the lockdown.  

The government had not made a decision on an application received 1.5 years ago, seeking permission for the door delivery of liquor. Later, the BevQ app was introduced after necessary amendments to the rules. 

Legally, only beverages outlets could sell bottled liquor, but to avoid the rush, amendments were again made to allow private bars to sell liquor bottles over the counter. 

To allow door delivery of liquor, the government will have to further amend the Kerala Foreign Liquor Rules and Abkari Shops (Disposal) Rules. 

According to rules, a person could keep a maximum of three litres of liquor at a time. If online purchase of liquor is allowed, yet another amendment should be made to allow the delivery person to keep more than three litres. 

In case the Bevco MD receives an application from a company, he will forward it to the excise commissioner. The commissioner will pass the application on with an explanatory note to the minister.

If an amendment is required, a decision could be made at the ministerial level. Since the matter pertains to liquor, the cabinet is likely to make a final decision.

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