300 Bigger, Fancier Liquor Shops Reopen In Delhi Tomorrow, All Government-Run

Nearly 250 private liquor vends, licensed under now-withdrawn Excise Policy 2021-22, are running currently in the city.

300 Bigger, Fancier Liquor Shops Reopen In Delhi Tomorrow, All Government-Run

Excise officials said liquor supply will improve from September first week due to opening of more shops.

New Delhi:

Private liquor shops will be a thing of the past for the national capital as they will be replaced by over 300 Delhi government vends from Thursday due to the switch from the Excise Policy 2021-22 to the old regime, officials said on Wednesday.

The Delhi government plans to reinstate the previous system of liquor excise taxes on September 1. This would result in several changes for Delhi residents, including opening 300 new liquor stores and four microbreweries.

After Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena suggested a CBI investigation following suspected anomalies in its execution, the Excise Policy 2021–22 was scrapped. Private businesses will now close their doors as of September 1.

Nearly 250 private liquor vends, licensed under now-withdrawn Excise Policy 2021-22, are currently running in the city.

The Excise officials said the liquor supply would improve from the first week of September due to the opening more shops.

"Currently, there are nearly 250 private shops that over 300 government vends will replace. So there will be more shops, and the number will grow further in the coming days as 500 shops are planned to be opened by four Delhi government undertakings," said a senior Excise department officer.

Government officials had promised to open 500 outlets in the first week of September and raise that number to 700 by the end of 2022. But for the time being, they have chosen to go with 300. Some of these are expected to come up near busy metro stations.

Under the Excise Policy 2021–2022, the government granted private bidders zonal licences for 849 liquor vends throughout the city.

Several government vends will be located in malls and near Metro stations. According to the officials, the Delhi government undertakings - DTTDC, DSSIDC, DSCSC and DCCWS - have been given a target to open 700 liquor shops in the city by the end of this year.

A mobile app, mAbkaridelhi, developed by the Excise department, will become operational in September, providing consumers information about the location of liquor stores in their neighbourhood and shop timings.

The mobile app will be accessible from Google Play Store and may be downloaded in Hindi and English. According to officials, the iOS version will be made available soon.

It will offer a wealth of details, including retail vends in a neighbourhood, their hours, and the ability to search vends alphabetically so app users can provide feedback.

Additionally, the state administration has permitted restaurants and bars to operate microbreweries in addition to the retailers. Starting in the first week of September, Delhi will be home to four microbreweries serving draught beer. 

A microbrewery, often called a craft brewery, is a brewery that specialises in producing small batches of beer using conventional brewing techniques.

In the past, Delhi had two microbreweries: one in Connaught Place and the other within a five-star hotel on Janpath Road. But those were shut down almost a year ago.

The Excise Policy 2021–22 permitted microbreweries and beer enthusiasts' takeout options. However, due to several factors, including the need for multi-agency permissions, no new microbreweries could open in the city.

"We have permitted three to four microbreweries to start operations from the first week of September. They are awaiting licences due to some pending approvals by different agencies," said a senior Excise Department officer.

"More microbreweries will come up soon," said another official.