Exploring a New Dimension of Alcohol Use and its Impact During COVID-19 Days | Adamas University

Exploring a New Dimension of Alcohol Use and its Impact During COVID-19 Days

Covid-19

Exploring a New Dimension of Alcohol Use and its Impact During COVID-19 Days

The COVID-19 or most commonly the coronavirus is posing threat to the entire nation at large and the whole world is witnessing the downfall of economy since the outbreak of the pandemic. Not only the stock markets  but also other manufacturers ;  including small scale and medium scale enterprises are confronting tremendous losses and deprivations and being equally subjected to this pandemic threat. The liquor industry is one of those sectors which contribute and add a lot to the revenue of state governments. Except for  few states such as Gujarat, Bihar, Nagaland, Mizoram, where the business is banned officially, the liquor industries in some states occupy a major place as a source of revenue. In India it has been discerned through news and reports that most of the state governments in India are enhancing their reliance on this liquor industry in order to pay their bills. The liquor industries provide more than twenty-percent of share of revenue in some state governments as reported by a study conducted by Jose Sebastian, Associate Professor, Gulati Institute of Finance and Taxation.

How Covid-19 impacts the Liquor Industries?     

Not only in India but across borders, the similar picture is in play where Foreign and local liquors are confronting severe challenges. The Ministry of Home affairs after  40 days of continual Lockdown laid down fresh guidelines for the state governments permitting them to open F.L Off shops under certain terms and conditions, but this relaxation was found to be detrimental on the opening up of shops because people were seen to be hugely violating the rule of social distancing on the day after such announcement. However in the alternative side, the state governments strictly imposed social distancing on the consumers who resort to such alcoholic beverages. Restaurants specially bar-cum ones, DJ-pubs and areas of natural attraction are the main sources of revenue from Liquor because individuals who are dipsomaniacs continue to visit such places reluctant to adhere to any rules or societal norms, yet some of the state governments brought  smiles on the faces of the daily customers by opening the Foreign Liquor off-shops in the cities and hubs for a schedule time from eight in the morning till six in the evening with stringent restriction, social distancing, sobriety and proper ettiquecy. The Union Consumer Affairs was requested by the (ISWAI) International Spirits and Wine Associations of India to allow the F.L off shops to sell liquors for few hours during the day. The (CIBAC) Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverages Association also requested for the same before the concerned governments in order to tackle the huge losses. Number is just an excuse, people of different aged category are seen struggling and standing in the queue ,  which has reached approx. two kilometers. This shows the ultimate , inconceivable level of patience  of the customers waiting for just one bottle since the dawn but at this juncture it is unfortunate to see the supply of stocks which are less in number as compared to the demand level; it is sad indeed to witness that the industries cannot meet the expectation level. Though dozens of people wasted  enormous time anxiously waiting  in the line to purchase their means of happiness.    

United States of America was among the few nations that  declared the beverage business as the most downturn collapse business in this historical pandemic era. During the downfall of economy, government in most of the countries sharply increased the rates of liquors to an extent of seventy-five percent. India has also witnessed an inflation in the rates of alcoholic beverages. Despite  the hike in the price rate of alcoholic beverages, the Foreign and Local Liquor shops were recorded as the most visited places on the first day. As per the report published by Zee News, the central government strictly prohibited the sale of liquor due to outbreak of COVID-19 through the devise of lockdown causing a huge loss for all the state governments to the extent of rupees three hundred crore. This led to a ban on the states  selling liquor hitting the returns of state government to tune of rupees seven hundred crores a day. States income from excise duty downturn to 10 percent for the banning of liquors. Uttarpradesh, Karanataka and Uttarakhand mark more than 20 percent of revenue from liquor, beside West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand contributes to 15-20 percent revenue from excise duty on Liquor selling. According to the local reports some state governments in India started levying taxes on alcohol beverages as much of seventy-five percent higher thus raising the price-index of different brands of alcohol in different states. In Bangalore the leading manufacturers and sellers including Carlsberg, United Spirits, InBev etc. together formally requested the union and the state to permit them to sell beer through online shipping and other means of offline in the event if the Lockdown is extended. It has also been witnessed in some parts of Bengal that Ration card holders who are entitled to take benefits of the government scheme for purchasing the basic needs are selling their food items (wheat, rice, sugar) to others for the purpose of purchasing liquors. This will be one of the greatest illustration and heights of the pyramids that what can be the ultimatum of the consequences of the pandemic. Despite industries like automobiles, pharma, chemicals, electronics etc. are also getting affected by the epidemic yet the liquor industries occupied the major position in terms of losses and downturn. However with the rapid use of sanitizer as a preventive measure for combating the Covid-19 virus and in addition to the government directives, people are now found to be purchasing alcoholic content beverages for the purpose of using it as a sanitizer or making it as a solution for fighting against the coronavirus issue. In reality whether such alcoholic content beverages are serving the purpose of such sanitizer is matter of question.

Recommendations of World Health Organization

The World health Organization strongly recommended that Drinking Alcohol can make the consequence of catching coronavirus more easily and the situation might get worse even. The WHO also recommends that access to wine shops should be more restricted and the governments around the world should impose prohibitory orders for restricting the access in places of public amusement in order to combat the present situation. The organization also laid down certain guidelines that people associated with consumption of alcoholic beverages may contact the disease more frequently and the risk of surviving is very less if the alcoholic consumer is connected with smoking cigars. In regard to this present pandemic a fact-sheet was also published by WHO titled “dangerous myth that consuming high-strength alcohol can kill” the coronavirus.

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