The e-commerce giant Amazon has managed to secure clearance to deliver alcohol in the state of West Bengal. According to reports, West Bengal State Beverages Corporation, which is responsible to carry out online retail of liquor trade in the state, said Amazon and a few other companies are eligible for registration with authorities.
In a notice issued on Friday, the West Bengal authorities informed that Alibaba-backed grocery venture BigBasket has also won approval to deliver alcohol in the state.
Barely a month after it entered the food delivery market in India, Amazon has been invited by the West Bengal State Beverages Corporation to sign a memorandum of understanding with the state.
Last month, West Bengal had invited companies to express interest for “handling electronic ordering, purchase, sale and home delivery of alcoholic liquors from licensed retail outlets” to eligible legal-age consumers in the state.
According to IWSR Drinks Market Analysis, Amazon’s is making inroads into West Bengal, which has a market that is worth $27.2 billion.
Earlier in March, the government had restricted the sale of alcohol as it had announced a nationwide lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic. Later, the relaxation was announced in May, after which people queued up at liquor stores to buy alchohol leading to violation of social distancing norms.
Since then, the liquor industry has been lobbying with many states to allow online deliveries. Every state has its own sets of alcohol sales policy.
India’s spirit sector – which includes whiskey, brandy, rum and vodka, is reportedly estimated to expand 25% and touch $41 billion by 2022, according to Euromonitor International.