Delhi cabinet decides to extend liquor shops for another month, file sent to L-G

The Delhi Government has decided to extend the policy of retail liquor stores in the city for another month till August 31 and sent a cabinet-approved file to Lieutenant Governor (L-G) Vinai Kumar Saxena late Sunday, said officials.

Officials said the L-G has not seen the file and approved it yet. “The L-G will see the file on Monday and will take the final decision,” said an official source.

The license will be extended only after the L-G approves the AAP government’s decision to implement it on the ground.

“Seized of the fact that the Excise Policy 2021-22 is not able to achieve the desired objectives of fetching greater revenues as envisaged and projected, and owing to the fact that the said policy has been flagged with many issues that are under detailed examination/investigation by agencies, the Government of National Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) has decided to revert to the old policy (prevalent till 16th November 2021) for a period of six months with effect from 01st September 2022,” read the file sent to the L-G’s office by the Delhi Government.

It further said read, “In this regard, considering the tenure of existing licences, expiring on 31.7.2022 and to maintain the confidence of people at large in the administration, the GNCTD has extended the existing licenses for a month till 31.8.2022 for the transition to take effect.”

On Sunday, the Excise Department also extended the license of wholesale country liquor vend and country liquor shops for two months starting from August 1 to September 31. There are about 87 liquor shops in Delhi that sell country liquor shops.

Amid the ongoing investigation by the Delhi Police and Economic Offences Wing (EOW) into the Delhi Excise Policy, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who holds the portfolio of the Excise Department, on Saturday announced to bring back the old policy for six months till a fresh policy for 2022-23 is in place. “Only government shops will be opened from August 1,” said Sisodia.

However, officials said that it will take time to implement the policy and till the transition period the government has decided to extend the license for another month to meet the shortage and stop illegal black marketing.

Officials also said that Delhi will see dry days this week as the Excise Department will issue an official order about the extension of liquor shops after the L-G gives his approval.

Till July 31, Delhi had 468 active liquor vends and more zones are expected to extend the policy bringing the number of shops down to 368-400.

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