Delhi's liquor sale policy: What to expect from September 1?
The Delhi government will return to the old regime of retail liquor sale in the capital city from September 1. The decision comes in wake of a massive controversy over its new liquor law. The new excise policy under which private vendors are currently selling liquor in the city comes to an end on August 31. Here, we detail the changes in the trade.
- The Delhi excise policy has been a cause of contention between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government.
- Earlier, Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena had also written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), urging an investigation into the liquor policy approved by the AAP administration last year.
- Subsequently, the policy was suspended but given a one-month extension.
The new policy had effectively broken the government's monopoly on the retail selling of liquor. It had also introduced discounts, rebates, and one-plus-one offer on the sale of liquor. Notably, prior to the start of the new regulation on November 17, 2021, majority of the liquor stores in Delhi were run by four government-controlled corporations.
According to India Today, the AAP administration intends to bring some changes in the old excise policy (before reverting to it) so that there are new rules that would benefit customers while also keeping a check on the illicit booze trade.
As per reports, the Delhi government's four corporations, DTTDC, DSIIDC, DCCWS, and DSSC, have been tasked with opening a total of 500 liquor vends beginning September 1. They said by the year-end, these corporations will open at least 700 liquor vends. There will be no private vends, and customers will be able to purchase alcohol solely at government corporation-run stores, reports added.
The AAP administration has directed that there be no change in customer experience with the restoration of the old excise regime. The four government corporations will run premium and budget vends that will serve clients from different socioeconomic backgrounds. Reports said the government-run vends will provide over 1,000 liquor brands, both desi and foreign.
The Delhi government has also put in place strict monitoring mechanism, as per India Today. Apart from the Excise Intelligence Bureau, a number of sub-divisional teams, led by a sub-divisional magistrate will work in this regard. They will ensure there is no sale of fake alcohol in any form, cross-border smuggling, stockpiling of alcohol, panic buying, and unlawful price discounts on liquor.