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Delhi liquor Policy'22: AAP Govt back Old policy for Six Months to Retail: amid CBI Probe & Protests

The old excise policy will be implemented for the next six months as the Delhi government is working to streamline a new policy for 2022-23.

With only two days left for the current liquor excise policy to expire, the Delhi government has decided to go back to the old regime of retail liquor sales for six months.

This comes amid the ongoing investigation by Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and a faceoff between the Lt-Governor and the Delhi government. The Excise Policy 2021-22, which was extended twice after March 31 for two months each, will expire tomorrow on July 31.

The excise department is still working on the excise policy 2022-23, which recommends among other things, home delivery of liquor in Delhi. Officials said that the draft policy has yet to be sent to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena for approval.

The New Indian Express reported that a letter marked "Topmost Priority" was sent to the state’s excise commissioner Krishna Mohan Uppu, in which Delhi Finance Secretary Ashish Chandra Verma on Friday said, "Reference is invited to the directions of Hon’ble Dy CM dated 28.07.2022 vide which it has, inter alia, been directed to revert to the old regime of excise policy for a period of six months till a fresh Excise Policy is in place.”

On Thusday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the excise portfolio, directed the department to revert to the old regime of the excise policy for a period of six months till a fresh policy is in place.

"The BJP used CBI, ED to threaten liquor licensees, excise department officials so that new excise policy fails," Mr Sisodia alleged.

"We have withdrawn new excise policy and directed opening government liquor stores," she said. "I have also directed chief secretary to ensure no chaos during transition period."

Anil Kumar, the head of the Delhi Congress, claimed that Sisodia, the minister in charge of the excise department of the Delhi government, was personally responsible for "corrupt deals" with liquor suppliers.

According to an official document, the finance department has directed the excise commissioner to coordinate with the heads of four corporations of the Delhi government for details of liquor vends operated by them before the new excise policy came into effect from November 17 of last year. The four corporations, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), Delhi Consumer's Cooperative Wholesale Store (DCCWS), and Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation (DSCSC) were running the majority of liquor stores prior to the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22.

Under the new policy, 849 liquor vends were awarded to private companies through open bidding. The city was divided into 32 zones, each with a maximum of 27 vends. Instead of individual licences, bidding was done zone-by-zone with each bidder allowed to bid for a maximum of two zones. Previously, four government corporations ran 475 of Delhi's total 864 liquor stores. Individually owned private stores numbered 389.

#DelhiLiquorExcisePolicy #AAP #VKSaxena

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