Delhi government on Monday issued a new liquor policy aimed at boosting the city’s revenue and also crackdown on the liquor mafia. According to the new reforms brought in by the government, alcohol shops will allow a walk-in experience to the customers, promote microbreweries and let bars in hotels, clubs, and restaurants operate till 3 am.
The Excise Policy 2021-22 noted that Delhi is ranked the 28th most visited city in the world and the first in India by foreign visitors. Excise is an important source of revenue for the state, the policy stated.
Under the new system, the government will be out of retail liquor trade, paving the way for the closure of state-run shops and promoting private players in the national capital.
Such retail vends that will be air-conditioned will have glass doors. Customers will not be allowed to crowd outside a vendor in the pavement and buy through the counter, it stated.
“Draught beer shall be allowed to be taken away in bottles or ”growlers”. Microbrewery shall also be allowed to supply to other bars and restaurants that have a license to serve liquor,” the policy document stated.
The new policy states that such establishments can serve liquor in open spaces such as terraces and balconies.
The number of retail liquor vends will be 849 in the city, including five super-premium retail vends that will have a minimum carpet area of 2,500 Sq. Ft
“Super Premium Vends, which will set up a tasting room within the premise, can sell products only above ₹ 200 MRP for beer and above ₹ 1,000 Retail price for all other spirits, including but not limited to Whiskey, Gin, Vodka, Brandy, etc.
“Super Premium Vends will need to stock at least 50 imported (B10) liquor brands including wines (BECRS) etc. brands in the store,” the policy document stated.
Special Excise Adhesive Labels, special inspection teams, a state-of-the-art lab are some of the steps planned by the Delhi government to check tax evasion, the conduct of retail vends, and spurious liquor.
According to the policy, the excise department has introduced Excise Adhesive Labels (EALs) with high-end security features manufactured by Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) to avoid tax evasion and plugging leakages in the supply chain and has also signed an agreement with SPMCIL.
The government has introduced a new license L-38 for banquet halls, party places, farmhouses, motels, wedding/party/event venues with permission to serve Indian and Foreign liquor in all the parties hosted at their premises on payment of a one-time annual fee.
Until now, such establishments were required to avail temporary licenses in form of P-10, P-10A, P-11 & P-13 for parties and functions organized.
In other India news, the German government on Monday has decided to ease strict restrictions on travel from the UK, India, and three other countries that were imposed because of the rise of the more contagious delta virus variant.