During the current state assembly's question hour, Assam Excise Minister Parimal Suklabaidya stated that the government has given about 360 liquor licences to "ON SHOP" (Bars) since 2016, while no liquor licences have been issued to "OFF SHOP" (Wine Shops) since 2001.
In response to a question from the Leader of the Opposition, Debabrata Saikia, during the ongoing Assembly session, the minister also stated that there are currently around 1234 licenced "OFF SHOP" operating in various parts of the districts in assam, with Kamrup district having 318 and Tinsukia district having 100 "OFF SHOP".
Furthermore, the minister stated that about 996 licenced "ON SHOP" are in operation in the state, with 360 liquor licenced "ON SHOP" operating since 2016.
According to the Suklabaidya, the Assam government increased the excise tax on Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) by 25% during the first wave of the COVID-19 period last year. Subsequently, in February 2021, the 25 percent COVID-19 liquor levy was implemented.
It should be mentioned that a Liquor License is a permission issued by the state excise department to individuals who wish to sell alcoholic drinks in a specific location.
Each state government has established certain laws and regulations for licencing that must be followed by anybody who want to sell hard beverages, beer, or wine.
Liquor licences are only given after a thorough inspection and assessment of all the License holder's data.
Meanwhile, Assam's state cabinet agreed on Wednesday to allow online liquor purchases and home delivery for a month in Guwahati municipal areas as an experiment. The decision was taken to reduce the last-minute rush, perhaps lowering the danger of disease transmission.
Akhil Gogoi, the lone Raijor Dal MLA from Sivasagar and renounced peasant leader, questioned the Assam government over its plan to allow online alcohol purchases and delivery to customers' doorsteps for a month on a trial basis in regions administered by the Guwahati Municipal Corporation.
The peasant leader added that it is ironic that the government is making alcohol available on a door-to-door basis at a time when people need seek immunisation to combat the fatal disease at their doorstep.