Amazon to start alcohol delivery in India, starting with West Bengal

Amazon has secured clearance to deliver alcohol in West Bengal, according to a document seen by Reuters, signalling the US e-commerce giant’s first foray into the country’s multi-billion-dollar sector.

In a notice on Friday, West Bengal State Beverages Corp, the authorised agency to carry out online retail of liquor trade in the state, said Amazon was among the companies found to be eligible for registration with authorities.

Apart from Amazon, BigBasket has also managed to secure clearance. Now, to take things forward from here, West Bengal government has invited Amazon India and BigBasket to sign a memorandum of understanding. 

Amazon’s interest in delivering alcohol in West Bengal marks a bold move to make inroads into a market that is worth $27.2 billion, according to estimates by IWSR Drinks Market Analysis.

India restricted liquor sales when it announced a nationwide lockdown in March. Hundreds of people queued up at liquor stores in May when some restrictions were eased, and the liquor industry had been lobbying with many states to allow online deliveries.

Food delivery services like Zomato and Swiggy have already received permission in the state for alcohol delivery.

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