Private liquor shops in Delhi will be closed from October 1, as per the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s new excise policy. Delhi govt has decided to close down around 260 private liquor vends after September 30. The process of closure of shops has already started. 

According to Delhi govt’s new excise policy, the new retail licences comes into force from mid-November.

Shortage of options

No liquor shops will open in 106 of the 272 municipal wards of Delhi from October 1. There are around 80 wards in the city without any liquor vend. In 26 wards, there are presently only privately-owned liquor vends that will close down from October 1.

The 26 municipal wards where there are only private liquor vends include RK Puram, Andrews Ganj, Lajpat Nagar, Patparganj, Rajouri Garden, Tughlaqabad, Kotla Mubarakpur, Inderpuri, Rani Bagh, Rohtash Nagar, Jilmil and Pandav Nagar.

Not all liquor shops will close

There are a total of 849 liquor vends in the city, a majority of which are run by three agencies of the Delhi government.

The Delhi government-run liquor vends will continue with the retail sale of liquor till November 16 after furnishing the requisite licence fee.

What’s behind the closure

The Delhi government in July announced the new excise policy for 2021-22. The new excise policy aims to reform the city’s liquor business by improving customer experience, cleaning up the liquor mafia and end pilferage.

The new excise policy seeks an equitable distribution of liquor stores in the city by splitting it into 32 zones. Currently, some wards having as many as 10 liquor vends and others having none.

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Bigger and better vends

Under the new excise policy of the city government, retail liquor sale licences have already been allocated to the highest bidders in 32 zones, each having around 10 wards and 27 liquor vends.

Under the new policy, retailers are free to decide the selling prices in a competitive environment, rather than an MRP being mandated by the government.

The new vends will be bigger and will have better facilities.

Monetary benefit for Delhi govt

The bidding process for the 32 zones, concluded by the excise department in two phases in August and September, earned a revenue of over 8,900 crore to the government.

Delhi govt is aiming to earn around 10,000 crore in the next one year under the new excise regime.

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