Liquor shops in Delhi remain shut or have low stocks as government gives them one more month

Liquor shops in Delhi either remained shut or had low stocks on Monday as the government gave them a month more to clear stocks and smooth their transition from private businesses to state-run ones.

While shops had cleared most of their stocks over the weekend, as confusion persisted since their licences expired on Sunday, some stayed open but their shelves were mostly bare.

“I went to two liquor shops near my house in the afternoon. While one was shut, the other had downed half of its shutter and its shelves were mostly bare. In any case, over the past few days only one or two brands of liquor have been available. It is a complete mess,” said Raghav Singh, 34, a resident of Jangpura Extension.

The liquor vend at Sarita Vihar was shut.

A new policy that came into force in November 2021 had marked the exit of the government from the liquor business. However, implementation challenges wherein licensees started to exit the market followed by corruption allegations had the Delhi government hot under the collar, forcing it to bring back the old policy for at least six months.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said Saturday that all private shops in the capital city would be shut and that government liquor vends would be brought back.The government late on Sunday passed the order to extend the existing licences for a month, till August 31 for the transition to take effect. This awaits the lieutenant governor’s approval, said sources.

Meanwhile, a government notification issued late on Sunday said licences of country liquor shops (L-3/L-33 licences) will be extended for two months (August 1-September 30) on a pro rata basis.

On Monday, officials in his office said that the lieutenant governor had granted permission to private licensees to continue selling liquor for another month, after receiving the government’s proposal.

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