As the controversy over the new liquor policy rages on, the Delhi government has decided to revert to the old one.
Mumbai: After the Lieutenant Governor recommended a CBI investigation into the implementation of the new excise duty policy, the Delhi government decided to revert to the old liquor retail regime in the city, officials said Friday.
Excise policy 2021-22, which was extended twice by two months each after March 31, expires on July 31.
The Excise Department is still working on the Excise Directive 2022-23 which, among other things, recommends home delivery of spirits in Delhi. The draft policy has yet to be sent to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena for approval, officials said.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the excise portfolio, on Thursday ordered the ministry to “revert” to the old excise policy regime for a period of six months pending a new directive in force, they indicated.
According to an official document, the finance department has instructed the excise officer to coordinate with the heads of four Delhi government corporations over the details of the liquor sales they operate ahead of the new directive on excise on November 17, 2021.
The four companies – Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), Delhi Consumer’s Cooperative Wholesale Store (DCCWS) and Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation (DSCSC) – produced the bulk of the stores in alcohols. in the city before the Excise Duty Directive 2021-22 came into force when the Delhi government halted the retail sale of spirits.
Under the new policy, 849 sales of spirits were allowed to private companies through open bidding. The city was divided into 32 zones, each with a maximum of 27 outlets. Instead of individual licenses, bidding was by zone and each bidder was allowed to bid for a maximum of two zones.
Previously, the four state corporations operated 475 liquor stores out of a total of 864 in Delhi. Private shops, licenses held by individuals, numbered 389. The Finance Department has asked the Excise Agency to provide details of former outlets, including their location, number of employees employed, leased or government buildings, by Friday as “top priority”.
Earlier this month, the Deputy Governor of Delhi recommended a CBI investigation into alleged rule violations and procedural errors in the implementation of excise policy. He has also directed the Delhi Chief secretary to enquire about the role of excise department officials in the alleged irregularities as well as complaint of cartelisation in issuing of retail liquor licences through bidding.
As an independent media platform, we do not take advertisements from governments and corporate houses. It is you, our readers, who have supported us on our journey to do honest and unbiased journalism. Please contribute, so that we can continue to do the same in future.