After a lot of controversy, the Delhi government has decided to discontinue the new excise policy and has brought back the old liquor policy. The 468 private liquor shops operating in the national capital will be shut from Monday (August 1) as the term of the new excise policy expires on July 31.
Under the Delhi government's new excise policy, nearly 468 liquor stores were running in Delhi. The policy, extended twice after April 30 for a two-month period each, ended on July 31.
What is the issue: The Excise Policy 2021-22 is being withdrawn by the Delhi government as a CBI probe is being recommended by the Lt Governor into alleged violation of rules and procedural lapses in its implementation.
Under the new policy, the government had issued liquor licences for 849 vends across the city. Only 468 of these were running. As the policy has been withdrawn now, their licences will expire on July 31.
It means, there will be virtually no liquor supply from the wholesalers to the entire hospitality sector and retail vends in the city after July 31, till some alternate arrangements are made by the government, liquor trade experts claimed, reported PTI.
Huge rush at liquor shops: There was a huge rush at liquor stores on Saturday and Sunday as shops offered schemes like 'buy one get two free' to end their stock. There was a rush of liquor buyers till late evening at the Star City Mall in Mayur Vihar Extension with vends fast running out of stock, reported PTI.
Old liquor policy: The four corporations - DSIIDC, DTTDC DCCWS and DSCSC - were running the majority of liquor stores in the city before the new excise came into effect.
The government corporations ran 475 liquor stores out of a total 864 in Delhi under the old excise policy regime. There were 389 private stores.
Blame game: Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that if the legal sale of liquor is closed in Delhi, then the national capital might witness "hooch tragedy". "We don't want a hooch tragedy in Delhi. That is why instead of the new liquor policy, the liquor will be sold through the old liquor policy," Sisodia said.
Earlier, the BJP had hit out at AAP over its government's liquor policy in the national capital. "Arvind Kejriwal liquor model can be explained in ABCD. Where A' stands for advertising,' B' for bahane-baazi' (making excuses) and blame game,' C' for corruption' and cover-up' and' D' for deviation' or diversion'," BJP spokesperson Shehzad Poonawalla said.