Raj Thackeray, Chairperson of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS), wrote an open letter to Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray on April 23 asking the CM to not get caught in moral issues and permit wine shops to operate during lockdown period in order to initiate revenue flow.
Thackeray wrote, “Extension of lockdown has caused fast depletion of state’s treasury, and this needs an incoming flow rather urgently. How long will this lockdown phase keep getting extended cannot be ascertained. In such times, by opening of wine shops, the state will start getting a bit of revenue flow. There is no harm in keeping this option open. By keeping the wine shop open, doesn’t mean we are trying to cater to the needs or looking after the alcohol consumers. The only reason behind this is to start the process of an income flow into the shrinking revenue of our state.”
The letter further mentioned that the state never banned liquor prior to the lockdown, and the government should not try to get caught up in some moral issues at such crucial time. Raj Thackeray said that the guidelines of social distancing and other directives will naturally apply to the sales process in these shops.
Apart from opening of liquor shops, Raj Thackeray also suggested to initiate functioning of other essential commodity services like vegetables, fruits, milk, bakery and general stores and to bring out parcel service for restaurants, adhering to the guidelines of an appropriate physical distance and hygiene.