The national capital will soon have five exclusive ‘super premium retail vends’ which will offer best liquor brands and high-end walk-in experiences as the Delhi Cabinet has accepted the recommendations of a Group of Ministers (GoM) headed by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia. Also, the city is likely to have around three dry days in a year as the GoM has recommended to bring the number of dry days on par with Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh.
In its report, the GoM said that these international quality retail vends will have to stock at least 100 imported (BIO) liquor brands — considered premium quality liquor — and such establishments will be allowed to sell only those beer, the maximum retail price of which is above Rs 200, but not limited to Whiskey, Gin, Vodka, Brandy and others. These will be first-of-its-kind liquor shops in the city where Delhiites can buy super premium brands of their choice, a move that will also increase the revenue of Delhi government.
In its report, the GoM said that the governments of Telangana and Karnataka have permitted such “elite liquor vends” in Hyderabad and Bengaluru. These ‘super premium shops’ will be allowed to be open till 11 pm, one hour extra from the normal retail liquor outlets.
“The licensee is permitted to have shop-in-shop concept for exclusive display of various brands in exclusive shelves so that the customers can walk-in into the display for their selection of products,” the report stated. It also said that ‘super premium vends’ can dedicate 10 per cent of their space to sell ancillary products such as cigars, liquor chocolates, high-end art paintings, high value merchandise such as bottle openers, ice boxes and bar glasses among others.
The GoM said that any entity or individual bidding for ‘super premium vends’ must have experience of operating high-quality liquor vends anywhere in the country. Any individual running these shops should have experience of retailing over 100 BIO brands and creating high quality branding and shop-in-shop experiences for at least one year.
The reserve license fee for ‘super premium vends’ will be two and a half times of the average reserve license fees of a vend in the national capital. Besides, the report also stated that that there should be 10 retail vends at the Indira Gandhi International Airport which has three terminals.
The GoM also recommended to bring the number of dry days at par with Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh to curtail the current practice of Delhi customers visiting the neighbouring states on dry days. At present, there are around 21 dry days in a year in the national capital.
On Monday, Sisodia said that the Delhi Cabinet has accepted the recommendations of the GoM in its meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. According to Uttar Pradesh excise official, there are four official dry days in the state on Ambedkar Jayanti (April 14), Gandhi Jayanti (October 2), Republic Day (January 26) and Independence Day (August 15).
Besides these, dry days could be officially implemented in districts depending on the law and order situation or during election time, the official said. In Punjab, there are also around three dry days. Lowering legal drinking age to 21 from 25 years and the government withdrawing from running liquor vends in Delhi are also among other features of an excise policy approved by the AAP dispensation on Monday, with Sisodia saying the measure is expected to lead to an annual revenue growth of 20 per cent.
The government decided to shut all its shops in the national capital as they were generating less income in comparison to private liquor stores. Currently, 40 per cent of around 850 establishments.