The Delhi government has extended the licence period of existing retail liquor vends in the city for next two months, in anticipation of delay in approval to the Excise Policy 2022-23 that among other things permits home delivery of alcohol, officials said on Tuesday.
The excise department of Delhi government in an order on Monday extended the Excise Policy 2021-22 for two months, which extended the validity of renewable licences, including those for retail liquor stores.
“The Excise Policy 2022-23 was approved by Delhi Cabinet in its meeting on May 5. It is yet to be approved by the Lt Governor,” said an excise department officer.
Since the previous policy (2021-22) that was extended earlier also ends on May 31, it has been extended for two months, the officer said.
Anil Baijal had resigned as Lt Governor citing “personal reasons” on May 18. His successor Vinai Kumar Saxena appointed on Monday has yet to take oath of the office.
The order issued by the excise department said the current excise policy was extended up to July 31, 2022, subject to payment of licence fee for the extended period, including security deposit, as per provisions extant.
A separate order, also issued by the excise department, stated that the existing licensees of retail liquor stores will pay the licence fee for the extended period – calculated on pro rata basis — by May 31.
“The licence fee for the month of June and July shall be paid by the licensees as per the provisions of the Delhi Excise Act, 2009/Delhi Excise Rules, 2010. However, the licence fee dues will not be allowed to exceed the security deposit amount available with the department at any point of time during the extended period,” said the order.
Kejriwal government had implemented its new excise policy in November last year, under which retail liquor sale licences were issued through open tendering to private operators.
So far, around 650 of the total 850 retail vends, in 32 zones, have opened in the city. The government is also implementing various other recommendations of the policy in a phased manner.