• Good News for Drinkers: Home Delivery of Liquors to start Soon

    National
    The Delhi Excise Department has urged that the state government allow liquor home delivery and stop controlling vendor discounts.

    Digital Desk: The Delhi Excise department has proposed that the state government must legalize the home delivery of liquor and stop regulating discounts offered by vendors in the Delhi Excise Policy 2022-23, which is in the final stages of being drafted, according to officials involved in the process.

    The Delhi cabinet is expected to take a decision on the proposals this month.
    Government procedure directives that the excise policy be notified at the beginning of every financial year. 

    Formerly, the same excise policy was notified without any changes, but during the previous year, the excise dominion was reconstructed by the Arvind Kejriwal administration defining new zones, taxes subsumed into a one-time charge at the time of bidding for vends the government exiting the selling business, and several regulations introduced to improve consumers’ buying experience.

    Though the Delhi Excise (Amendment) Rules, 2021 allowed the home delivery of liquor, vends need the government to initiate the provision by issuing relevant orders and notifications, which has not been done so far.

    “If anyone delivers liquor as of now, it will be deemed illegal,” said an excise official.
    According to the 2021 rules, shops with an L-13 license will be permitted to deliver Indian and foreign liquor to private homes but only if the order is received through a mobile app or an online web portal. It restricts deliveries to a hostel, office, or institution.

    Though the existing excise policy also permits discounts on liquor, on February 28 this year, the Delhi government discontinued discounts offered by stores due to overcrowding and violations of Covid-related guidelines. On April 2, the Delhi government permitted liquor stores to offer up to a maximum of 25% discount on the maximum retail price.

    An official of the excise department said the 2022-23 excise policy is in the closing stage of preparations, and will be notified at the earliest. “The department has given some proposals for consideration by the cabinet. It will not be a new policy, but a revised one which will try to address the challenges which were identified during the implementation of the existing policy (2021-22).

    Vinod Giri, Director General of the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC), said that despite the government’s will to push it through, home delivery of liquor is yet to take off.

    Both the moves - stopping regulation of discounts on liquor and home delivery of liquor - may face unbending resistance from the Bharatiya Janata Party Delhi unit, which has been against the new excise policy.

    Ramvir Singh Bidhuri, leader of opposition in Delhi assembly, said the new excise policy is “fatal” for Delhi and requested lieutenant governor Anil Baijal to scrap the Delhi Excise Policy. 

    “The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s decision to allow liquor service by opening bars and restaurants in the Capital till 3am and its proposals are only to fill the government treasury and it will pose a huge threat to the culture, law and order, and security of Delhi,” Bidhuri said, as per Hindustan Times reports.

    State government spokespersons refused to make any comment regarding requests seeking comment.

     

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