Delhi govt cuts red tape in issuance of licences for serving liquor

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NEW DELHI: To give a boost to the city’s hospitality sector, Delhi government has simplified the process of issuing excise licences to hotels, restaurants and clubs to serve liquor.
Officials said that earlier, each application used to be put up to a deputy commissioner-level officer four times before it was finally approved and the licence was issued. The process will now be completed in just two steps, saving time and paperwork.
“We found that this back-and-forth movement of files, not once but four times, was not only consuming valuable time but was also a hassle to the applicants. In line with our ‘ease of doing’ business policy, we have now put in place a much simpler process to ensure speedier disposal of all applications received for the HCR (hotel, club, restaurant) licence,” said an official.
Delhi currently has close to 970 hotels, clubs and restaurants where liquor is served. The excise department receives applications for new bars to be opened in hotels, clubs and restaurants on a regular basis, said officials. Before applying for the licence, the applicants are supposed to get the approval of the municipal corporation, the licensing department of Delhi Police and the labour department.
The excise department has framed a new standard operating procedure (SOP) for issuing fresh HCR licences for time-bound disposal of applications under the eSLA (service-level agreement) system. The file of an application for HCR licence, complete with necessary documents, is placed before the deputy commissioner (excise), the licensing authority, who deputes a team to inspect the suitability of the proposed premises where the liquor will be served.
The inspection report, signed by an assistant commissioner, along with a notice, is pasted at the proposed premises seeking any objection from locals within 15 days. If no objection is received, the file is sent to the deputy commissioner for approval to issue an offer letter on payment of the licence fee.
“After receiving the payment online, the licence and a login ID and password to access the excise department portal is issued by the assistant commissioner,” said an official.
The above news was originally posted on timesofindia