From now on, only a single licence will be needed to serve liquor at independent restaurants in the national capital as the Delhi government has decided to merge four separate licences ahead of implementing its new excise policy from November 17.
The existing L-17, L- 17 F, L-18 and L-18 F licences will be combined into an L-17 licence, a notification issued by the excise commissioner stated. The L-17 licence is meant for serving Indian liquor in independent restaurants, while L-17 F is for serving foreign liquor. The L-18 and L-18 F licences are meant for serving Indian and foreign liquor, respectively, along with wine, beer and alcohol in Indian restaurants.
“The move will cut down paperwork and facilitate ease of doing business with multiplicity of licences replaced by a single one," said an excise department official.
The annual fee for L-17 licence will be Rs 5 lakh for independent restaurants with up to 1,000 sq ft area, Rs 15 lakh for 1,001 to 2,500 sq ft area, and Rs 25 lakh for above 2,500 sq ft area, the notification stated.
The L-17 licence may serve any Indian or foreign liquor at any area, including open spaces like balcony or terrace or lower area of the restaurant, with the condition that the liquor serving area will be screened off from public view.
However, for serving liquor at any event or party at an area beyond specified in the licence but within the premises of the licence, a separate P-10 E licence will be required, it said.
The liquor will be served in glasses or full bottle at L-17 restaurants and it will be the sole responsibility of the licencee to ensure that no bottle leaves the premises. Also, no liquor will be served to underage persons, it said.
Live music, professional performances, bands, DJ, karaoke, singing and dancing will be allowed in these L-17 restaurants, the notification added.