The amendments to Delhi Excise Rules have come into effect, bringing some welcome changes for tipplers in the national capital. With 18 out of 21 amendments in action, residents of Delhi can soon place orders for alcoholic beverages via website and mobile apps for home delivery. Moreover, restaurants and pubs will be allowed to serve booze in open spaces, and even source brews directly from microbreweries.
But it will take some time before Delhiites can avail of the benefits of changes to city’s liquor rules. Here are a few things that you should know about Delhi’s new liquor laws.
Booze not on your fingertips yet
The recent amendments to Delhi Excise Rules change provisions of Rule 66 that deal with home delivery of alcoholic beverages. As per the reformed rules, buyers could place orders for booze via websites or mobile applications.
But businesses with L-13 or L-13F licences, for Indian liquor and foreign liquor respectively, alone can accept home delivery orders for alcohol via sites or apps. Retail vendors have kept away from these licences due to the impracticality of earlier rules. Earlier, licenceholders were allowed to delivery alcohol to homes for orders exclusively received through fax or email.
Hence, it will be some time before shops can actually start delivering alcohol directly to their customers’ homes. Now it depends on vendors interest in these licences and the rate at which Delhi government allocates them.
A drink with a view
The new Delhi liquor rules allow restaurants, bars and clubs attached with hotels to serve liquor in open spaces like courtyards, terraces or balconies. However, these establishments will be have to ensure that no one takes the served bottles out of the licensed premises.
Businesses serving alcohol will also be able to host live performance from bands or DJs from now on.
Beer ‘to go’
Under the new rules, patrons could get draught beer in bottles or growlers as takeaway from microbreweries in the national capital.
Microbreweries will also be allowed to sell their brew directly to restaurants or pubs. This will allows the establishments to attract customers at a time when Covid-related restrictions have hampered business.
Medicated wine, alcohol for training
The new rules allow sale of medicated wine where the beverage is used as a solvent to absorb the medicinal properties of herbs. Hotel management institutes with L-37 licence will also be allowed to keep alcohol for training purposes on their grounds.
The new excise rules will also allow zonal distribution of liquor stocks among retailers and facilitate super-premium vends.
Jury still out on these
While most of the amendments to Delhi Excise Rules have been approved by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal, there still are some that are awaiting legislative green light. The decision to lower legal age of drinking to 18 years from 21 years and permission to serve alcohol till 3 AM are among them. These amendments were suggested with the intention to boost revenue from liquor sales in the national capital.
The above news was originally posted on www.livemint.com