DELHI: After a long lockdown of 40 days due to COVID-19, government’s decision to reopen the liquor stores from Monday to revive the disrupted economy as the liquor sale forms a major portion of revenue of states witnessed recklessness of the citizens nationwide. India saw a huge crowd on its roads across different parts of the country. People from all backgrounds, the poor, the rich, the middle class, all together stood for hours forming long queues violating all guidelines and social distancing norms, just to buy liquor.

The Delhi government issued a notification that levied a ‘special coronavirus fee’ to the tune of ’70 percent of the maximum retail price on all categories of liquor sold through retail licensees for consumption ‘off’ the premises.’

The announcement came after some liquor shops opened in the national capital on Monday were closed after they were found flouting social distancing norms.

In a monday late-night notification, the Finance Department of the Delhi government said, “70 per cent of the maximum retail price (will be levied) on all categories of liquor sold through retail licensees for consumption.Meanwhile, Delhi Excise Commissioner has written to Delhi Police Commissioner stating, “Directions may be conveyed to field functionaries that liquor vends of four government corporations as per list finalised by them in pursuance to order of this department should be allowed to function from 9 AM to 6:30 PM.”

Meanwhile, the government of Andhra Pradesh, following Delhi to charge a ‘special Coronavirus fee’, has also hiked liquor prices by 50 percent, it had added a 25% hike earlier too, taking the overall price hike to 75 %.

The total 75 percent price hike will be charged on the maximum retail price or the MRP of the bottle.

The AP government has strictly imposed the price hike on liquor to discourage people from consuming alcohol.

However, according to the latest updates, even after such a huge spike in liquor prices, thousands have turned up in Delhi as well as in Andhra Pradesh, to stand in long queues without following social distancing guidelines.