Liquor lovers in the Delhi may not have access to their favourite brands this Diwali as multiple issues are plaguing the new Excise Policy 2022-23, which was put into place in September.

Under the new alcohol policy in Delhi-NCR, companies must have a warehouse, where they could stock their alcohol stock before sending it to retail outlets. Several large corporates, on the condition of anonymity, said they are awaiting clearances from excise officials, who need to inspect their premises before allowing the release of stocks.

As a result, many consumers of premium liquor have been left with no choice but to travel to neighbouring states to go and buy their choice of alcohol. The availability of alcoholic beverages in Delhi is affected due to multiple supply-side challenges. The number of retail vends opened is meagre for a city the size of Delhi, and there’s little investment in these all-government outlets for cold availability, which is vital for beer and ready-to-drink alcohol.

Nita Kapoor, chief executive of the International Spirits and Wines Association of India, representing the interests of several of the top alcohol companies, said that the IMFL industry awaits the decision to release the stocks lying with distributors under the earlier excise policy as this will go a long way in addressing supply shortages.

There are only around 435 corporation outlets operating in the city right now, which is insufficient to meet the festive and wedding season demands.

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