Delhi: 260 private liquor vends to shut after October 1
With new retail licenses coming into force from mid-November, no liquor vends will open in 105 of the 272 municipal wards of Delhi from October 1, officials said on Monday. Under the new excise policy of the city government, retail liquor sale licenses have already been allocated to the highest bidders in 32 zones, each having around 10 wards and 27 liquor vends.
The city has a total of 849 liquor vends
Notably, the AAP government has decided to close down around 260 private liquor vends after September 30. There are a total of 849 liquor vends in the city, a majority of which are run by three agencies of the Delhi government.
Government-run liquor vends to continue retail sale till November 16
Meanwhile, the bidding process for the 32 zones, concluded by the excise department in two phases in August and September, earned a revenue of over Rs. 8,900 crore to the government. The excise department, in an order issued earlier this month, allowed the Delhi government-run liquor vends to continue with the retail sale of liquor till November 16 after furnishing the requisite license fee.
80 wards in Delhi don't have a liquor vend: Officials
The firms that have been given licenses in the 32 zones under the new excise policy through bidding will start retail sale from November 17, the order said. The officials said there are around 80 wards in the city without any liquor vend. In 26 wards, there are presently only privately-owned liquor vends that will close down from October 1, they added.
Closure of private vends may lead to temporary liquor shortage
"Practically, the 105 wards in the three municipal corporations in the city will have no functional liquor vend after September 30," an officer said. "The closure of privately-owned vends from October 1 may lead to a temporary shortage of liquor as only the government-run liquor stores will open for a month and a half prior to November 17," the officials said.
Excise policy seeks an equitable distribution of liquor stores: Officials
"The new excise policy seeks an equitable distribution of liquor stores in Delhi by segmenting them into 32 zones. Currently, the spatial distribution of liquor vends is skewed with some wards having as many as 10 liquor vends and others having none," the officials said.
Government estimates to earn Rs. 10,000cr annually for 2021-2022
According to The Times of India, the government has received 41% less revenue than expected for the financial year 2020-2021. With the new excise policy, the Delhi government estimates to earn Rs. 10,000 crore annually for 2021-2022. Moreover, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister, Manish Sisodia had last week said that the new excise policy will also aim to keep an eye on excise tax evasion.