125 more liquor shops shut in Delhi, licensees allege losses and ‘policy flip-flop’

As many as 125 liquor shops were closed in Delhi on Wednesday as six zonal licensees surrendered their licences. The shops remained closed on Monday as their licenses expired on July 31 and despite the order late on Monday night, While granting one-month extension of retail and wholesale licenses to shops, six licensees refused the extension. With this closure, the number of 468 liquor vendors operating in Delhi before July 31 has reduced to 343.

The Delhi government will return to its side. Old Excise Regime and since September 1 run liquor shops in the city through their corporations.

The six zonal licenses handed over mean that there will be no liquor shops in areas such as Anand Vihar, Shakarpur, Jhalmal, Paharganj, Rohini-e, Chandni Chowk, Sarita Vihar, Najafgarh, Greater Kalish and Daryaganj.

Licensees blamed financial instability and ‘policy flip-flops’ for pulling out of the expansion. They failed to make reasonable profits after paying heavy excise fees, a report said Times of India said. Fees, ranging from Rs 230 crore to Rs 340 crore per annum, were paid in monthly installments to obtain permits through a bidding system.

“We were hoping to do good business and that’s why we participated in the bidding process and agreed on a large excise fee for each zone. But we faced issues related to non-conforming areas and public in certain areas. We could not open all our shops due to stiff resistance from them, which affected our business badly,” a senior executive of one of the zonal licensees told TOI.

Another dealer added that if they were allowed to open shops in non-compliant areas, they would have earned more.

Under the excise policy, Delhi is divided into 32 predefined zones, each with a maximum of 27 shops. The government had extended the policy twice from March 31 before deciding to go back to the old policy.

Since March 31, 10 zonal licenses have been surrendered. After six more zonal licenses are handed over, half of the 32 zones will have no liquor shops during the month-long transition period in August.

“This one-month extension is hardly satisfactory to us. There is no point in investing such a huge amount in the form of excise fees and stock purchase when we know that we have to wind up our business forever by August 31. . We will have to bear more losses,” said a zonal licensee.

As shops in Delhi closed on Monday and representatives of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) imposed “business interruptions” on the industry trying to recover from the pandemic, shops in Noida saw a surge in customers.

Delhi government-run Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), Delhi Consumer Cooperative Wholesale Store (DCCWS) and Delhi State Civil Supply Corporation (DSCSC) have been enabled to open stores. has been done. September 1. Before the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22 on November 17, 2021, corporations operated 475 of the 864 liquor shops, while the rest were privately licensed.

Four corporations will operate liquor shops as per the old excise policy before the government issues the new policy.

(with PTI input)

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