Here's why Delhi's private liquor stores will remain shut for 45 days

All private liquor stores in Delhi will remain shut for about 45 days in order to implement the new excise policy in the national capital


NH Web Desk

All private liquor stores in Delhi will remain shut for about 45 days in order to implement the new excise policy in the national capital. Only state government-run liquor outlets will continue retail sales till November 16. After that, new players who have got the licence through open bidding will operate the 850 liquor shops in the national capital from November 17 onwards.

This is happening because of the Delhi government’s new liquor policy. Currently, there are 849 liquor stores in Delhi, of which 276 are privately run. The rest are operated by Delhi government agencies. This is not good news for the rest of the 106 municipal wards for Delhi in which no liquor shops will open till November 16. This crisis will only worsen in the coming weeks as demand will only shoot up in the months of October and November ahead of the festive season.

So, what does this new policy mean? Let’s learn 10 things that you need to know about Delhi’s new liquor rule:

1. The Delhi government made its new liquor policy public in the month of July which states equal distribution of liquor outlets in the national capital. The policy made clear that the government will exit the business of selling liquor through its undertaking.

2. The new policy aims to reform the liquor business in the national capital by improving customer experience, cleaning up the liquor mafia, and ending pilferage.

3. Each zone covering 8-10 wards will have nearly 27 liquor vends. Currently, some wards have as many as 10 liquor vends, and others have none.

4. From November 17, retailers will be free to decide the selling prices in a competitive environment, instead of selling at MRP rates.

5. Unlike older policy, in which vendor was not allowed to give any discount, rebate on the MRP, the new policy will leave it to the licensee to decide on these matters. Hence, under new policy customers would be able to get discounts, rebates etc.

6. The policy also intends to provide a good experience to liquor buyer, so it mandates that every vend shall provide a walk-in experience and be designed accordingly. The policy mentions specific features of the stores like it should have closed glass doors and should be air-conditioned and well lit. The policy aims at enhancing the customer experience.

7. The policy may rationalize the prices of liquor. This will be decided by comparing the prices in adjoining states, so the policy, in order to prevent smuggling, will have a competitive prices of liquor in the national capital.

8. The Delhi government is expected to gain around Rs 10,000 crore revenue from bidding of liquor shops under the new excise policy.

9. The Arvind Kejriwal-led government has said that the age of selling or serving liquor should align with that of the neighbouring states where the legal drinking age is already 21 years.

10. Under the new liquor policy, the government has received 215 bids for retail vends in 32 zones across the city, the retail liquor sale licenses have already been allocated to the highest bidders in 32 zones, each having around 10 wards and 27 liquor vendors.

Will this move change the face of liquor industry in Delhi? - That is something we will have to wait and watch.

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