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Happy hours over? Delhi government likely to end free scheme on liquor purchase, 21 ‘dry days’ policy to return

Delhi government likely to end free scheme on liquor purchase, 21 ‘dry days’ policy to return | Photo: File

As liquor vends run by the Delhi government open on September 1 under the old excise regime, rebates and “one-plus-one” offers will expire, and previous norms like 21 “dry days” are expected to return, authorities said Friday.

However, they added that for a better customer experience, there would be premium vending machines for expensive booze and self-service shops where clients may choose their preferred brands from off the shelf. Four government-run corporations, DTTDC, DSIIDC, DCCWS, and DSSC, in Delhi are expected to open 500 different liquor vending machines by August 31.

Additionally, each company will operate five premium vends. By year’s end, the corporations will be in charge of operating 700 different booze vending machines.

On August 31, the excise policy under which the city’s private liquor vends are now operated expires. From September 1, only the Delhi government companies will operate retail liquor vends; private players won’t be allowed.

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According to an excise department document, holders of L-6 (government-run shops) licence will be bound to sell liquor only at prices fixed by the excise commissioner which will be mentioned on labels of the bottles.

“Any undercharging or overcharging will be considered as a violation of terms and conditions and licence will be liable to be cancelled,” the document read. The liquor vends will be operational from 10 am to 10 pm. They will remain closed on all dry days.

In the Excise Policy 2021-22, the department had reduced the number of dry days from 21 to three. “In the old excise policy, there were 21 days when shops remained closed on important religious festivals and anniversaries of great personalities of the country. Since, the government has decided to go back to the old excise policy that was there before November 17, 2021, it is likely to retain the 21 dry days,” the officials said.

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The government-run liquor vends will have a carpet area of 300 square feet and above, and would be in local shopping centres or commercial premises. In the Excise Policy 2021, the minimum carpet area of the vends was fixed at 500 square feet.

The proposed vend premises will be inspected by site inspection committee comprising excise officials. The liquor stores will be at least 100 metres away from major educational institutions, religious places and hospitals with 50 beds.

(With inputs from PTI)


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