Delhi Private Liquor Shops to be Closed for 45 Days, Starting from Next Month. Know Why

The liquor stores in Delhi have worn an empty look, where the shelves of the store are empty and are badly stocked. In Delhi, people are struggling to get the booze of their own choice- thanks to the new Liquor License policy that is set to be implemented from November 16. Due to the implementation of New Liquor Policy from November 16, all the private liquor stores in Delhi will remain shut from October 1 to November 16- leading to a liquor crisis in Delhi. Under the new excise policy of the city government, retail liquor sale licenses have already been allocated to the highest bidders in 32 zones, each having around 10 wards and 27 liquor vendors. Currently, there are 849 liquor stores in Delhi, of which 276 are privately-run. The rest are operated by Delhi government’s agencies.

So from October 1, only the liquor shops run by the government is going to remain open and private liquor shops are going to close till November 16. This is a bad news for 106 municipal wards of Delhi in which no liquor shop will open till November 16. There are around 80 wards in the city without any liquor vend. In 26 wards, there are presently only privately-owned liquor vends that will close down from October 1. The 26 municipal wards where there are only private liquor vends include RK Puram, Andrews Ganj, Lajpat Nagar, Patparganj, Rajouri Garden, Tughlaqabad, Kotla Mubarakpur, Inderpuri, Rani Bagh, Rohtash Nagar, Jilmil and Pandav Nagar.

What this new liquor policy is?

The Delhi government made its new liquor policy public in July of this year which pitches for uniform distribution of liquor outlets in the city, including at least two air-conditioned vends in every municipal ward, five super-premium stores, and 10 stores at the Indira Gandhi International Airport. The policy made clear that the government will exit the business of selling liquor through its undertakings.

To prevent the formation of syndicates leading to overcharging and brand influencing, the government had floated tenders inviting bids for setting up retail vends under the new policy. In contrast to the older policy in which licensee is not allowed to give any discount, rebate on the MRP, the new policy leaved onto the licensee to decide on these matters.

The policy states that every vend shall provide a walk-in experience and be designed accordingly. To illustrate, customers will not be allowed to crowd outside a vend or in the pavement and buy through the counter. Each customer shall be given access inside the vend and the entire selection and sale process shall be completed within the vend premise. The vendor has closed glass doors and should be air-conditioned and well lit… Licensee will ensure no dry snacks or cooked food outlet gets opened right outside the shop which encourages people to drink and loiter around the shop itself.

In order to evade the rampant smuggling of liquor that happens from adjoining Haryana, UP, under the new policy, the price of liquor brands in Delhi will be decided after taking inputs from the retail stores and taking into account the price of the product in the neighboring states such as Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan.

Meanwhile, the Delhi government has asked the wholesalers and government stores to maintain adequate supply of the liquor in the national capital. The instruction was passed onto vendors and traders, keeping in mind the festival season which is around the corner in which demand of liquor is bound to go up.