New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: The Arvind Kejriwal government has lowered the legal drinking age in Delhi from 25 to 21, bringing it in parity with neighbouring states Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the decision was aimed at "stopping harassment of people and establishments".

The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) welcomed the decision and said that it was a "pragmatic" step that would benefit both businesses and the exchequer.

Noting that the current legal drinking age prescribed for Delhi was an “outdated law” that finds its genesis in the Punjab Excise Act of 1914, NRAI president Anurag Katriar said that the association had been requesting for amending such “archaic laws”.

As part of reforms, the Delhi government will also set up an international standard checkup system by which it will keep a watch on low-quality liquors and stop their distribution. An international quality lab will be set up to test the quality of liquor coming into the city.

The government said that in states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Assam, Odisha and Tamil Nadu, the age of consuming alcohol is 21 years while in Goa and Andhra Pradesh it is 18 years.

Here’s a look at the legal drinking age of all states:

Dry States: Liquor sale and consumptions is banned in Bihar, Gujarat, Mizoram, Lakshwadeep and Nagaland. Partial ban is imposed on some districts in Manipur.

25 Years: Drinking is not allowed until the age of 25 in Maharashtra, Haryana, Chandigarh and Maharashtra. However, Maharashtra has allowed light beer at the age of 21. Earlier, Delhi too had kept 25 as the legal age for drinking.

23 Years: Kerala had raised the legal age of drinking from 21 to 23 in 2017.

18 Years: People are allowed to consume liquor from the age of 18 in Rajasthan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Goa, Sikkim and Puducherry.

21 Years: In all other states, the legal age of drinking is 21.

Posted By: Abhinav Gupta