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543 of 849 vends under new excise policy now open

New Delhi: As part of the Delhi government’s new excise policy, the national capital is slated to get 849 new liquor vends. As of now, 543 of these vends have opened and the list and location of these vends have been shared by the excise department on its website.
As part of the new excise policy, the city has been divided into 32 zones and licences have been allotted on a zonal basis. The transition from the old system saw private vends close down from October 1 and government vends after November 17. Apart from teething troubles faced during the transition, the ban on construction caused delays in opening of liquor stores and ban on movement of heavy vehicles also impacted supplies in the city, vendors said.
“Up to 543 liquor vends have opened in Delhi out of the 849 for which licences were granted to firms. There are some issues involved, including completion of the vends, before which the final approval can’t be given,” a Delhi government official said. “We expect the rest of the vends to also open soon. Measures are being brought to ensure even more transparency and curb any confusion between retailers and wholesale L1 suppliers,” he said.
The official said that the municipal corporations of Delhi have provided the excise department a list of 67 wards, which are non-confirming areas where no new liquor stores would be opened for the time being.
The Delhi government moved out of the retail business of liquor sale under the new policy through privatisation of all 849 liquor vends, more than half of which were being run by its four agencies earlier.
“Many new vends have not even started construction due to local protests or awaiting official inspection,” a liquor store owner said.
He, however, said that liquor prices as per the new policy would be lowest in Delhi. “There is no cap on what discounts retailers can offer to consumers. If the hassles are ironed out fast, there will be a price war where Delhi will have premium liquor at best prices.”

The above news was originally posted on timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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