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Business News/ News / India/  Delhi liquor stores to remain shut despite Delhi government's order
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Delhi liquor stores to remain shut despite Delhi government's order

Even though the Delhi government has extended the excise licences for liquor vends till August 31, liquor stores in the city won’t operate until LG's nod.

On July 30, the Delhi government declared that it would reinstate the previous excise system for the next six months. (HT_PRINT)Premium
On July 30, the Delhi government declared that it would reinstate the previous excise system for the next six months. (HT_PRINT)

The Delhi government has decided to extend the current liquor shop licences till August 31 to prevent turmoil brought on by liquor shortage in the city. The 468 private liquor stores in Delhi were set to close their doors starting on August 1 after their licence expired on July 31. But they added that the liquor stores wouldn't operate until there is an approval from the Lieutenant Governor of (LG) Delhi Vinai Kumar Saxena.

"The government has sent decision of its Cabinet to extend existing liquor vend licences for one month, up to August 31, to the Lt Governor. Orders allowing the liquor stores to remain open after July 31 will be issued after LG's approval," officials said.

The Delhi government decided to return to the old excise regime and run liquor stores through its agencies after realising that the Excise Policy 2021-22 was unable to achieve the desired objectives of bringing in greater revenues and that its implementation is being scrutinised for alleged rule violations and procedural lapses.

Also Read: Home delivery of liquor may soon be a reality in Delhi

Officials stated that, beginning on September 1, the government liquor outlets will be open for a period of six months, during which time the private vendors will continue to be in business.

"This was needed as the government has already decided to revert to old excise policy regime and run stores through its agencies, a process that could create shortage and chaos as the new shops will take days to open," said a government source.

On July 30, the government declared that - for the next six months - it would reinstate the previous excise system. In accordance with the Excise Policy 2021–22, 468 retail liquor outlets in the city had operating licences that expired after July 31. However, a large number of liquor stores in the city had to close after running out of stock due to discounts and promotional offers like buy one, get two free.

"There is some more liquor and beer available and people are coming to get whatever they can. Those asking for specific brands have returned back empty handed also," said a liquor store manager in Laxmi Nagar.

Also Read: United Spirits flags high raw material costs to states to raise liquor prices

Customers are now heading to neighbouring Noida, Ghaziabad, Gurgaon, and Faridabad for their quota after booze stores started to run out of stock, according to a consumer named Vivek outside a shuttered liquor vend in Delhi's Sheikh Sarai. The rush was worse on July 30.

The Chief Secretary was instructed to make sure that there was no "chaos" in the city during the transition period prior to the opening of government liquor stores, according to Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the Excise portfolio, who announced the withdrawal of Excise policy on July 30. According to Sisodia, the Chief Secretary was also tasked with monitoring the city's illegal alcohol sales in the meantime.

(With PTI inputs)

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Published: 01 Aug 2022, 05:48 AM IST
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