More than 48 lakh bottles of liquor worth over Rs 100 crore were sold in Delhi on the weekend preceding Diwali, officials said on Sunday.

People celebrated Diwali with pomp on Monday after two years of muted festivities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Diwali, October 24 (Monday), was a dry day in the national capital.

”That led to a rush on the weekend from Friday to Sunday with heavy liquor sales across the city,” said a senior excise department officer.

”More than 48 lakh bottles were sold on Friday-Sunday, worth over Rs 100 crore, ahead of Diwali on October 24,” he said.

The average daily sale of liquor in Delhi is around 12.50 lakh bottles, the officer said.

Giving details, officials said 13.56 lakh bottles worth over Rs 30 lakh were sold on Friday and 15.09 lakh bottles worth nearly Rs 32 lakh on Saturday.

On Diwali eve on October 23, a record sale of more than 19.42 lakh bottles worth over Rs 42 lakh was recorded, they said.

The excise business in Delhi has been hit hard with liquor policy of the Arvind Kejriwal government coming under scanner and an ongoing CBI probe into an alleged ”scam” in its implementation.

The Excise Policy 2021-22 was withdrawn by the Kejriwal government after the CBI probe was recommended by Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena into alleged violations of rules and procedural lapses in its implementation from November 17, 2021.

Retail licences issued to private parties for 849 liquor vends under the policy ceased to exist from August 31 this year. The government decided to revert to old excise regime that was operational before November 17, 2021. Under the old excise regime, the Delhi government undertakings are running over 460 liquor vends across the city.

The number of liquor vends run by the four undertakings is expected to go up to 700 by the year end, officials added.

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