Delhi LG approves AAP government’s move to extend excise license of liquor vends, pubs by one month

Delhi Lt. Governor VK Saxena on Monday approved the AAP government’s move to extend excise licenses for private liquor vendors as well as hotels and bars by one month, hoping that alcohol in the city would be reduced. Supply will resume where an unofficial dry day has to be observed. .

No alcohol was served in bars, pubs, restaurants and hotels, and none could be purchased after the permit expired on July 31. The Lieutenant Governor has approved the Delhi government’s proposal to extend the Excise Policy 2021-22 sent late last night. months, officials said.

The Excise Department has not yet issued any official order in this regard. Until such an order is issued, liquor cannot be served in hotels and pubs or sold in shops. Some restaurants also said that although the license extension process will be done online, it will take at least a day or two to complete, which means people will have to wait for their liquor.

Sources in the LG office said, “The extension has been approved primarily as a limited interim measure for the existing licenses to expire on July 31, 2022, and to maintain the confidence of the public at large in the administration. to keep”.

LG has noted that there was “no other option” but to agree to the Delhi Cabinet’s decision on Sunday to extend the period of existing retail and wholesale licenses for stock clearance by one month, and To avoid retail and wholesale closures. He said that due to non-availability of shops as well as liquor in the city, any law and order situation has to be prevented.

Excise license will be issued by the government for an extended period on payment of license fee. Private retail liquor shops that apply for the extension will operate till August 31. The Delhi government, as announced by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia last week, will roll back the old excise policy system from September 1 and run liquor shops through its four corporations.

Four corporations – DSIIDC, DTTDC, DCCWS and DSCSC – operated 475 liquor shops out of a total of 864 in Delhi under the old excise policy. The number of private stores licenses held by individuals was 389. After liquor stores remained closed on Monday, employees walked around talking to customers anxiously waiting for stores to reopen.

“We don’t know when the order will come. Even if it comes today, there is no goods to sell in the shop,” said an employee of a liquor vendor near the ITO. A zonal license holder said that still un The situation is certain because the excise department’s order has been delayed.

“Ever since the government announced to revert to the old excise policy system, we were in the process of winding down the business. “We are the most affected because despite investing huge amount, we are selling liquor at retail within months. Forced to give up sales. Even a one-month extension is no compensation for our losses,” he said.

A restaurateur alleged that it appeared to be “administrative incompetence” at the “highest level” by the government that led to the situation. “If they wanted to extend the license, they should have done it earlier. First, they withdrew the new excise policy and decided to run vends through their agencies and now a one-month extension is being given. “Think nothing of the losses and we won’t have to do any business for days because of this disruption,” he said.

There were 468 private liquor bars in Delhi till their licenses expired on Sunday. Under the Excise Policy 2021-22, the Delhi government had divided the city into 32 zones, each with a maximum of 27 liquor shops, for which licenses were issued to 14 private firms through open auction. Out of a total of 849 liquor shops, only 639 have managed to open as of November 2021. Currently, of the zonal licensees, nine have already exited the business and three more have indicated their intention to do so.

The excise policy 2021-22 was extended by the government till July 31, in the backdrop of which the lieutenant governor recommended a CBI probe into alleged violations of rules and procedural lapses in its implementation. had gone The policy was extended twice from April this year, as the government was still working on a revised excise policy for 2022-23 that was yet to receive necessary approvals.

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