Delhi slaps ‘special corona fee’ on alcohol as Covid-19 cases near 5,000 mark


People stand in a queue to buy alcohol after authorities allowed opening of wines shops with certain restrictions during ongoing Covid-19 nationwide lockdown at Krishna Nagar in East Delhi. (PTI Photo)


Delhi registered another big spike of 349 new cases of Covid-19 that took the national capital’s tally to 4,898, the health department said in a statement Monday night.

There are 3,403 active cases while 1,431 people have recovered from Covid-19. There was no casualty in the last 24 hours which remained at 64.

Late Monday night, sources said Delhi government has imposed 70 per cent “special corona fee” on sale of liquor that will come into force from Tuesday.

Senior government officials said that the lockdown since March 25 to prevent the spread of Covid-19 cost the Delhi government around Rs 645 crore in revenue from the sale of alcohol, when calculated on the basis of revised estimates in the 2019-20 state budget.

The excise department was preparing a full report on the exact revenue loss incurred by the ban on the sale of liquor for over 40 days, they said.

Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal warned said that his government would be forced to shut shops — opened under conditional scaling down of the lockdown restrictions applicable till May 17 – in case of violation of social distancing norms.

Kejriwal’s warning came after the chaos that followed the opening of government-run wine shops in the city after 40 days.

Many liquor shops in different parts of the city had to be shut and at some places police had to disperse huge crowds that had gathered in front of the shops.

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