After a crackdown on illegal sale of outdated beer in the city following a HT report, the excise and taxation department has now trained its guns on companies selling liquor online through their websites in Gurgaon. It has given them a one-week ultimatum as the practice is not
permissible under the Haryana Excise and Taxation Act. According to officials, local liquor vend owners have been complaining of loss of business as residents now have the option of ordering their favourite drink online and getting it delivered at home.
According to department officials, there are about 10 such websites which are illegally selling alcoholic beverages such as whiskey, beer, scotch and wines.
The promoters of these websites are the licenced liquor vendors with retail outlets in various parts of the city.
A team of the excise department, led by deputy excise and taxation commissioner (DETC) Anil Kadiyan, has zeroed in on 10 websites which were selling liquor brands online and operating against the guidelines of the excise act.
Teams have been formed to keep track on such online deals, he said.
People can simply log on to these sites and either place an order over the phone or email them. Irrespective of the location, the sites deliver liquor bottles at the customers doorstep. The minimum order, however, must be of Rs 1,000 and above.
Excise officials said they had been receiving complaints for long.
Kadiyan said he called all the 10 website promoters on Thursday and given them a warning to shut down operations within seven days as it was affecting the business of other local vendors who did not sell online.
If the online sales do not stopped after a week, then we will take strict action against the vendors and a case would be registered against them. These sites will be banned soon and my team would keep a check on them, Kadiyan added.
One website operator lamented that the Haryana Excise Act was outdated and did not serve the needs of the present time.
In India, every state has its own excise policy whereas many foreign countries have a universal liquor policy. Gurgaon has grown by leaps and bounds and the Haryana government should devise a special policy to suit the requirements of people here, he said, requesting anonymity.
The business remains same for everyone and the policy cannot be changed for anyone violating the Act, the DETC said.
Earlier, HT had managed to lay hands on a beer bottle and can with expired dates. The Danish brands Carlsberg and Tuborg being sold in some Gurgaon liquor vends were manufactured in June 2011.
As per the manufacturer, the product should have been consumed by December 2011.