The national capital is staring at a possible shortage of alcohol and crowding outside vends owing to the closure of 260 privately-run liquor shops as per the Delhi government’s new rules. However, the government has assured that people will not face any problem, saying state-run vends have been instructed to keep sufficient stocks. As per the new rules, swanky liquor vends will be set up in 32 zones across the city where people would be able to walk in and choose the liquor brand of their choice and can avail facilities like wine tasting, snack bars and much more.
What is the New Liquor Policy?
Under the Delhi government’s new excise policy, authorities have allocated fresh licenses to private firms for 850 shops that will enter retail business from November 17. In view of this, all the private liquor vends were directed to shut shop by September 30. The remaining liquor stores run by Delhi government agencies will also wrap up business on November 16.
During this transition period of nearly one-and-half-month, only government-run shops will open which is likely to cause shortages and other problems. There are around 720 active liquor vends out of which nearly 260 or 40 percent are privately run. The government expects that sufficient supply at government vends will prevent crowding.
The new excise policy aims at revolutionising the consumer experience by replacing the existing liquor vends in the nooks and corners of the city, with swanky liquor stores spread over at least 500 square feet area with walk in facility. It stipulates that the new liquor stores will have to be equipped with air-conditioning and CCTV cameras.
What about private vendors?
Nearly 3,000 employees are likely to get affected by the closure of private liquor vends in the national capital, PTI reported. Naresh Goyal, president Delhi Liquor Traders Association, said the closure of private liquor vends will have adverse impact on people engaged in this business and owners and managers of such establishments have started looking for alternative arrangements. “Some owners have other businesses as well so they will most likely shift their focus to them, while some are thinking of venturing into property dealing business.
Will the new policy generate more revenue for the government?
In the bidding of a total 850 liquor vends divided into 32 zones under the new excise policy, the government earlier this month earned around ₹8,911 crore, against the base reserve licence fee of ₹7,039 crore, PTI reported. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had earlier said the government expected a revenue of ₹10,000 crore after the implementation of the new policy.
Under the new policy, the license fee has been increased substantially. While it was around Rs 8-10 lakh earlier, it is now around Rs 6-6.5 crore per vend. The majority of revenue came from excise duty per bottle. For the coming 12 months,” he added.