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Extended timing for bars, fresh discounts. Key changes explained: Delhi Excise

Calling the existing liquor policy ‘archaic’ and ‘cumbersome’, the Delhi govt made public the new Excise Policy 2021-22 on Monday. The new policy document points to excise as an important source of revenue while noting that the present excise revenue generation is at a sub-optimal level.

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Aimed at boosting the city’s revenue, the Delhi govt has introduced new changes counting from walk-in experience for customers at alcohol shops, discounts on MRP, promoting microbreweries to the extension of the timing of bars in hotels, clubs, and restaurants.

Delhi new liquor policy: These are the top highlights

-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.

-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.

-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.

“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 license 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 license to operate round the clock service of liquor.

-The new policy states that such establishments can serve liquor in the open spaces such 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 Rs. 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.

-The government has introduced new license 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 license in form of P-10, P-10A, P-11 & P-13 for parties and functions organised.

-The price of liquor brands will be decided after taking inputs from the retail stores and taking into account the price of the product in the neighboring states such as Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan, says the policy document. Liquor prices are significantly cheaper in Haryana as compared to Delhi, leading to rampant smuggling.

“Systemic measures to check smuggling and bootlegging, such as adequate spread of retail vends and insignificant or no price differential with the neighboring states thereby eliminating the arbitrage for smuggling.”

-The licensee is free to give concession, rebate, or discount on the MRP. Currently, liquor store owners in Delhi cannot offer any rebates on the MRP of brands.

The above news was originally posted on www.livemint.com

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