Amazon, BigBasket get nod for online delivery of liquor in West Bengal

The government of West Bengal last month put out an expression of interest notice for the online delivery of liquor.

Amazon and BigBasket are among the companies which have been given permission by the West Bengal government for online delivery of liquor in the state, according to a report.

Amazon, a leading ecommerce marketplace has secured clearance to deliver liquor, according to a report by Reuters. BigBasket has also been given the nod.

These two companies have joined the likes of Swiggy and Zomato which have got permission to deliver liquor. Food delivery app Swiggy has already started home delivery of liquor in the states of Jharkhand, Odisha, and West Bengal.

According to Reuters, the West Bengal State Beverages Corp, the authorised agency to carry out online retail of liquor trade in the state, said Amazo and BigBasket were among the companies found to be eligible for registration with authorities.

The West Bengal government last month invited companies to express interest for “handling electronic ordering, purchase, sale, and home delivery of alcoholic liquor from licensed retail outlets” to eligible legal-age consumers in the state.

Amazon has also been invited to sign a memorandum of understanding with the state, said the notice.

This is for the first time in India that a pure play ecommerce company will be getting into the business of liquor delivery.

Over the years, Amazon has expanded its e-commerce operations in India as more and more people go online to shop for everything from groceries to electronics. The company has committed $6.5 billion in investments in India, one of its key growth markets.

The spread of coronavirus pandemic and the resultant lockdown has led to the emergence of new policies especially in the liquor segment. The lockdown has hurt the finances of the state governments across the country and one of the key sources of revenue has been from the alcoholic beverage segment.

During the two-month lockdown period and subsequent easing of restrictions, the liquor industry has been lobbying with many states to allow online deliveries.

Edited by Javed Gaihlot