New Delhi, Oct 4 (PTI) The Delhi government’s excise department has earned a revenue of more than Rs 3,500 crore with a sale of 27.6 crore liquor bottles in the first half of the current financial year, officials said on Wednesday.

The revenue figure came amid a controversy over alleged irregularities in the now-scrapped excise policy for 2021-22.

According to official data, the Delhi government earned a revenue of Rs 3,588 crore in April-September 2023-24. The revenue from liquor trade included Rs 2,457 crore as excise duty and Rs 1,131 crore as value added tax (VAT) on the sale of 27.6 crore liquor bottles during the period.

The April-September period last year was marred by scrapping of the excise policy 2021-22 by the Delhi government after a CBI probe was recommended by Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena into alleged irregularities in its implementation.

The retail liquor sale was badly hit with the private vendors surrendering licences and shortage of stocks due to the turmoil caused by the CBI probe, officials said.

The government had earned a revenue of Rs 6,821 crore by selling over 62 crore liquor bottles in the last financial year 2022-23.

The excise policy 2021-22 brought by the Delhi government to reform liquor trade became a victim of allegations like irregularities in its formulation and implementation to benefit private parties.

It led to the arrest of then deputy chief minister and in-charge of excise department Manish Sisodia in February this year. AAP Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh was arrested on Wednesday after a raid by the Enforcement Directorate at his North Avenue residence in a money laundering case related to the excise case.

In 2021-22, the Delhi government had earned a revenue of Rs 6,762 crore from excise and VAT on the sale of liquor, officials said.

After scrapping the excise policy 2021-22, the Delhi government switched to the old regime under which its four agencies took control of retail liquor trade from September 1 in 2022.

Under the excise policy 2021-22, the Delhi government had quit retail liquor business allowing private licensees to open vends across the city.

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