Wine shop owners in Telangana have requested the State government to extend the existing retail licence by three more months to compensate for the time lost when their shops were closed during the full and partial lockdowns in first and second wave of COVID-19. Their licences will expire by October 31.
All kinds of business and other activities except emergency services were shut during the first lockdown from March 22 to May 5, 2020. Thereafter, partial lockdowns were imposed in the State in the first and second wave with varying relaxation hours. The wine shops were allowed to be open from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Putting together the number of business hours their shops were closed, the wine shop owners said they lost around 80 business days. Rent, salaries, electricity and other utility charges were paid during these lost hours. “Manufacturers, breweries, restaurants having bars, were given compensation for the lost time by either waiving licensee fee or in terms of time. We too are requesting our existing licence to be extended by three months. This will help us recover at least the licence fee during the 80 business days lost and other expenses,” requested a wine shop owner.
The 2,216 wine shops in the State were issued two-year-long retail licences in October, 2019, valid till October 31, 2021.
While the shops were open for a few hours during partial lockdowns, the wine stores had constant flow of customers. However, the wine shop dealers said that the business did not get compensated during the limited hours their stores were open.