New excise policy in Delhi: In order to raise revenue, Delhi govt reduces dry days from 21 to 3 only, drinking age from 25 to 21 yrs

New Delhi, November 17: In order to increase revenue and eliminate the mafia raj in the sale of liquor, the Delhi government has implemented a new excise policy. However, this policy is also being strongly criticized.

The new excise policy is being claimed to change the contours of liquor shops in Delhi. The number of dry days has been reduced from 21 to only three days. Apart from this, the minimum drinking age has been reduced from 25 years to 21 years.

Liquor shops will have an open space of at least 500 square feet, will be air conditioned, where there will be no hustle and bustle and people will be able to buy liquor of their choice easily.

A total of 849 liquor shops will open

Under the new excise policy in Delhi, 372 shops of existing government liquor were closed on November 16. In lieu of this, now a total of 849 liquor shops will open in different areas of Delhi. These shops will be like megastores, where customers can go to any corner and buy liquor of their choice.

On Wednesday, when the new excise policy came into force in Delhi, under this policy, at present 350 private liquor shops, which were already running in malls and other commercial areas of Delhi, started selling liquor there.

New shops not ready

There will be a total of 27 retail shops in each zone with an average of three retail liquor shops in each ward.

According to the Excise Policy 2021-22, in 68 assembly constituencies of Delhi, 272 corporation wards have been divided into 30 zones. There will be 29 shops in the New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) area and Delhi Cantonment while there will be 10 liquor retail outlets at Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Under the new excise policy of the Delhi government, all 849 liquor shops including 266 private liquor shops have been given to private companies through tender. Retail sale of new license holder liquor has started from Wednesday, November 17.

It is the responsibility of the shopkeeper to ensure security

The new excise policy states that the licensee will have to make adequate security arrangements. It will be their responsibility to maintain order. It will be the responsibility of the shopkeeper to make complete security arrangements around the shop.

It will be difficult to get famous brand liquor

According to experts related to the matter, after the opening of new liquor shops, the full variety of liquor and beer will not be available, because there is a delay in registering the domestic and foreign brands of liquor and beer. Because of this, people will find it difficult to get the variety of their favourite liquor.

Licenses required to serve liquor were done

The Delhi government has merged four separate licenses required to serve liquor in restaurants. Under the new excise policy, now only one license will be required for serving liquor in restaurants. As per the notification, the existing L-17, L-17F, L-18 and L-18F licenses have been merged to form the L-17 license.

The L-17 license is required to serve Indian liquor in independent restaurants, while the L-17F license is required to serve foreign liquor. The same L-18 and L-18F licenses are for serving Indian and foreign liquor along with wine, beer and alcopops in Indian restaurants.

Regarding the new excise policy of the Delhi government, Finance Minister Manish Sisodia has already said that the Delhi government will no longer run any liquor shops. It has been completely handed over to the private sector. A special lab will be set up to check the quality of liquor.

Liquor will be sold in many places for about 24 hours

According to the new policy, an average of three liquor contracts will be opened in all the 272 wards of Delhi and a total of 849 contracts will be opened in the private sector. Provision has been made to license marriage halls etc. for one year, which will indirectly open liquor contracts in almost every locality of Delhi.

Delhi government has seized huge quantity of illicit liquor in the capital in the last two years. During this, 7.9 lakh illicit liquor bottles have been caught. In these, FIR has been registered in 1864 cases and 1939 people have been arrested.

1014 vehicles of liquor mafia have also been seized. It is estimated that till now 2000 illegal liquor shops were running in Delhi.

The government says that the new excise policy will prevent the sale of spurious liquor in Delhi.

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