States and businesses are finding any possible methods through which they can gain some financial assistance to make the impact of the pandemic less worse.

The Finance Minister of Kerala, Thomas Isaac emphasized the need for money with regards to the impact of the lockdown. He said:

Most states have limited the borrowing to Rs 500-1,000 crore (at interest rate of 9 per cent or so) and started cutting salaries or halting other developmental activities.

Now, how alcohol plays a role in this is that taxes from alcohol sales form a quarter of a state’s revenue. But due to the pandemic, usual state finances and GST collection have been very low and this has had a huge impact on the revenue collected from the states.

Although there is an illicit sale of liquor and medical reasons are said to be one of the reasons, a huge reason for opening up these liquor shops is due to the revenue gain from them. 

Delhi earns approximately Rs. 5,000 crore from liquor sales every year and shutting them down would result in the loss of around Rs 500 crore.

In some states, liquor is the second or third largest contributor of tax revenue. States such as Assam, Meghalaya, Karnataka and Delhi lifted shutters to start selling liquor in small quantities. 

The rationale behind opening liquor shops is that as written in Food Safety and Standards Act 2006, alcoholic beverages fall under the definition of food.

This means that they are exempted from the list of items that cannot be accessed during the lockdown. 

Some places in West Bengal are also keen on allowing home delivery for alcoholic beverages.

Those who forgot to stock up on all the alcohol amidst this pandemic surely would benefit from the opening up of the liquor stores across different states.