Walk-in experience for customers at alcohol shops, promoting microbreweries and allowing bars in hotels, clubs and restaurants to operate till 3 am are some of the reforms brought in, in the Delhi government’s new excise policy aimed at boosting the city’s revenue and also crack down on the liquor mafia.

The Excise Policy 2021-22 that was made public on Monday noted that Delhi is ranked the 28th most visited city in the world and the first in India by foreign visitors. It stated that excise is an important source of revenue for the State.

The policy document, however, does not highlight home delivery of liquor which is part of Excise Rules and legal drinking age that was proposed to be reduced from 25 years to 21 years in parity with neighbouring cities.

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Under the new system, the government will be out of retail liquor trade, paving the way for closure of state-run shops and promoting private players in the national capital.


According to the 2021-22 excise policy, every liquor outlet in the city will provide a walk-in experience to its customers who will have multiple choices of brands, and the entire selection and sale process will be completed within the vend premise.

Such retail vends that will be air-conditioned will have glass doors. Customers will not be allowed to crowd outside a vend or in the pavement and buy through the counter, it stated.

Microbrewery services

Under the new excise system, Delhiites will also be able to fill their bottles or ‘growlers’ with freshly brewed beer from any microbrewery in the city. The policy allows microbreweries to supply draught beer to bars.

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“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 licence to serve liquor,” the policy document stated.

As part of the new reforms, the bars in hotels, restaurants and clubs have been allowed to operate till 3 am except those licensees which have been given licence to operate round-the-clock service of liquor.


The new policy states that such establishments can serve liquor in open spaces such as terrace and balcony.

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.

Checking tax evasion

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, 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 supply chain, and has also signed an agreement with SPMCIL.

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The government has introduced new licence L-38 for banquet halls, party places, farm houses, motels, wedding/party/event venues with permission to serve Indian and Foreign liquor in all the parties hosted at their premises on payment of one-time annual fee.


Until now, such establishments were required to avail temporary licence in the form of P-10, P-10A, P-11 & P-13 for parties and functions organised.

(The above news was originally posted on www.thehindubusinessline.com)


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