In the first phase of lockdown, the states have strictly banned any production and sales of alcohol according to the social distancing norms.
Just before the extension, Assam had allowed the sale of alcohol. Also, Meghalaya had made a provision for home delivery of liquor, to confide to the social distancing.
In Assam as the sale of alcohol started, people stood in long queues maintaining distance, waiting for their turn to get their choice of alcohol.
But with the extension of lockdown, the Centre has again laid down strict terms to ban all the production and sale of alcohol, tobacco in all the States and Union Territories.
The Liquor is a major contribution to the State’s economy as the Custom Duty on it directly goes to the state government as it is a state subject.
The liquor industry contributes about ₹2.5 trillion a year to state governments by way of excise duty and in some states as value-added tax, said an industry executive.
An executive said that distilleries are now producing sanitizers but if the ban on the sale of liquor is prolonged, the workers would want to return to their villages, which could result in a bigger problem.
The PM has decided on the extension of lockdown until 3 May 2020, an attempt to fight the global pandemic.