The AAP led Delhi government has decided to extend the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 by extending the license tenure for shops selling liquor.
According to the sources, the government said that it has reverted the new excise policy to the old regime that was prevalent till November 16, 2021, for a period of six months with effect from September 1, 2022.
It has also extended the tenure of the licenses which were expiring on July 31, for a month.
Under the old policy of the government, both government and private vends sold the liquor, which was changed to private only in the new policy.
However, the government reverted to the old policy after protests by the Opposition (in Delhi) BJP in the national capital.
Besides, the government’s move also came after Delhi Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the alleged violations in the implementation of the policy.
Liquor will be sold only through government-run shops from August 1.
However, the government is considering extending the tenure of the licenses which were expiring on July 31, 2022, to extend for another month till August 31, 2022.
“Considering the tenure of existing licenses, expiring on July 31, 2022, and to maintain the confidence of people at large in the administration, the GNCTD has extended the existing licenses for a month till August 31, 2022, for the transition to take effect,” the GNCTD sources said.
“Seized of the fact that the Excise Policy 2021-22 is not able to achieve the desired objectives of fetching greater revenues as envisaged and projected, and owing to the fact that the said policy has been flagged with many an issue that is under detailed examination/investigation by agencies, the Government of National Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) has decided to revert to the old policy (prevalent till 16th November 2021) for a period of six months with effect from September 1, 2022,” added the sources.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also heads the Excise Department, claimed that his party’s government brought in a new excise policy to curb graft but central agencies used to threaten shopkeepers as well as state officials. Targeting the BJP, he claimed this was done to encourage the sale of illegal as well as spurious liquor.
“We have decided to withdraw the new policy and ordered liquor be sold only through government-run shops. We have done this so that no one can sell illegal or spurious liquor in the capital. I have ordered the state chief secretary to ensure there is no corruption,” Sisodia said at a press conference.
(With inputs from Agencies)