In an answer to inquiry into the new excise policy on the sale of liquor on the order of the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, the Deputy Chief Minister, and the head of excised department, Mr Manish Sisodia, has asked the government to go back to the old policy. The old policy which was extended two times after 31st March is to end on 31st July.
In a press conference, the Deputy Chief Minister, accused the BJP of wanting to promote the sale of off-duty liquor and threatening the liquor licensees and officers in the excise department.
Before the excise policy 2021-22, majority of liquor stores were run by the Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), Delhi Consumer’s Cooperative Wholesale Corporation (DCCWS) and Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation (DSCSC).
849 liquor vends were issues in an open bidding as a part of implementation of the new policy. The city was divided into 32 zones with each having a maximum of 27 vends. Of these, 475 were won by the state-run corporations and the rest by private vendors.
Under the new policy, the state would have earned revenue of almost 9000 crore rupees as apposed to 6000 crore rupees from the sale from liquor shops that it used to get before the new policy was implemented.
The finance department has asked the excise commissioner to provide details of liquor vends run by them before the new policy came into force in November 2021. The corporations run by Delhi government also need to provide the details.
The details include a list of old vends, their location, number of staff employees, whether the vend is rented or runs on government premises. The Chief Secretary of Delhi has also stated that the terms of the new policy give undue benefit to liquor licensees and there were many deliberate and bid procedural lapses.
The Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal has defended the Deputy Chief Minister saying that there in no truth and that the BJP Government is harassing AAP. In a virtual press meeting Kejriwal said that Manish Sisodia was a true patriot and an honest man whom he has known for almost 22 years. He accused the BJP government of running a new policy of deciding whom to imprison and then decide what charges to levy on that person.