Delhi has returned to its old liquor policy within a year of implementing a new excise policy, with the opening of nearly 350 government-run liquor vends and exit of private players from retail business. However, as per reports, the liquor industry seems to be more concerned regarding the lack of clarity about the stock left over at L1 liquor license during the policy changeover.
The comeback of the old excise policy will also mean there will be no discounts or offers on liquors anymore. Excise department officials said brand registration is an ongoing process and more will be available in coming days.
“The day one of policy transition was satisfactory with nearly 350 government undertaking vends opening across the city. In the last 15 days, we registered around 400 brands and some more were registered even today," said officials on Thursday.
“This will ensure all the popular brands back on the shelves in coming days as it takes time as supply follows production and dispatch after a brand is registered," said a senior officer from the excise department. The customers at domestic terminals of IGI airport could not purchase liquor as all the six vends operated earlier by private operators were closed. The DTTDC assigned to operate liquor stores there is still working out modalities, officials said.
The department has so far issued 422 retail licences to four Delhi government undertakings — DTTDC, DSIIDC, DSCSC and DCCWS — that have been directed to open 500 vends in the city in September. A total of 700 liquor vends are planned to be operationalised by the four corporations by end of the year.
Excise officials also assured that a crisis may persist for a few days but liquor supply and brand availability will improve in the coming days. However, on Day 1, which was on Thursday, tipplers did not show a warm response mainly due to the lack of stock at shops.
However, the liquor industry was confused about the stock left over at L1 liquor license during the policy changeover.
The stock which was left unsold after the city stepped in to the new excise policy in November 2021 has not yet been resolved and additionally this changeover policy has also been added in the stock which has become a headache for the industry.
“Industry is greatly concerned regarding lack of clarity on the stock left over at L1s due to and during the two successive policy changes. It may be recalled that prior to November 16, 2021, under the earlier policy, excise duty was paid in advance by companies when bringing stock to L1 depots. Responding to the appeal by Delhi government to ensure there is no stock out during transition in November, companies imported enough stock after paying excise duty," Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) Director General Vinod Giri told IANS.
Some stock is still lying unsold and the government has not provided clarity on the matter, Giri said.
(With Agency Inputs)