468 Private Liquor Shops In Delhi To Shut From Aug 1 As AAP Govt Withdraws New Excise Policy

The Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government has decided to withdraw its new excise policy and directed that liquor be sold only through government-run shops from August 1.

By Subhasish Dutta
Sat, 30 Jul 2022 02:33 PM IST
Minute Read
468 Private Liquor Shops In Delhi To Shut From Aug 1 As AAP Govt Withdraws New Excise Policy
A placard with a message 'private liquor shops will be closed' is put on display inside a liquor shop in Delhi. (ANI Photo)

The Delhi government on Saturday directed the sale of liquor only through government-run shops after it decided to withdraw the new Excise Policy. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the Delhi chief secretary has been directed to ensure that liquor is now sold through government shops only and there is no chaos.

As a result of this decision, as many as 468 private liquor shops operating in Delhi will be shut from August 1 as the term of their licences and that of the new excise policy expires on July 31.

Sisodia also alleged that the BJP was using agencies like the CBI and ED to threaten liquor licensees.

"They want to create a shortage of liquor so that they can run an illegal liquor trade in Delhi like they are doing in Gujarat. But we will not let this happen," Sisodia said.

He claimed that if the legal sale of liquor is stopped in Delhi then it may witness a "hooch tragedy" on lines of Gujarat.

Sisodia was referring to the recent hooch tragedy in which 42 people from Botad and the neighbouring Ahmedabad district in Gujarat died after consuming spurious liquor on July 25, while 97 people are admitted to hospitals.

Under the Delhi government's new excise policy, nearly 468 liquor stores are running in Delhi at present. The policy, that extended twice after April 30 for a two-month period each, will end on July 31.

Sisodia said in the old excise policy there were many government liquor vends and there used to be "huge corruption" in such stores. But that was stopped with the new excise policy, the deputy chief minister said.

In the new excise policy, licences were issued through open tenders in a transparent manner, he said.

"Under the old regime, the government used to earn a revenue of Rs 6,000 crore, while through the new excise policy the government was set to get Rs 9,500 crore revenue in the entire year," Sisodia said.

"They (BJP) want to reduce the sale of legal quantities of liquor. Like Gujarat, they want to promote the sale of spurious, off-duty liquor by threatening Delhi's shop-owners, officers," Sisodia said.

Comparing the number of shops in BJP-ruled states with Delhi, Sisodia said in Haryana's Gurugram one liquor shop is opened per 466 people while in Goa the ratio is 761 people and in Noida, one liquor shop is opened per 1,390 people.

At present, Delhi has one liquor shop for 22,707 people, Sisodia said.

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