Despite a mid year policy switch and ongoing probe by central agencies, the Delhi government managed to gross "the highest ever" excise revenue of Rs 5,548.48 crore in 2022-23, officials said on Saturday.
With the daily average sale of 17 lakh bottles, the Excise department's daily average revenue was Rs 19.71 crore, pushing the total revenue over that in 2021-22, said a senior Excise department officer. "We have also surpassed the total revenue of Rs 6762 crore including excise and VAT in 2021-22 and realised Rs 6,821 crore in 2022-23," said the officer.
The Delhi government had implemented a new, reform oriented excise policy on November 17, 2021, that was later marred in allegations of corruption and mismanagement. The policy under which private vendors had opened liquor stores across the city was withdrawn by the Delhi government last year following a recommendation of CBI probe into alleged irregularities in its implementation by the LG VK Saxena.
The policy (2021-22) was finally wrapped up in August , 2022. The government returned back to old excise regime from September 1, 2022 under which its four undertakings carried out liquor trade in the city.
Excise officials said around 1,000 brands have been registered through 117 wholesalers in the market and 573 government retail outlets, including 10 shops in malls (L10)) have been opened since September last year. A total of 930 hotels, clubs and restaurants are also serving retail customers in the city.
"This was achieved despite mid year policy transition, ongoing investigations into new excise policy and government taking over the retail liquor sale through its corporations- DCCWS, DTTDC, DSIIDC and DSCSC- which have registered a profit of Rs 300 crore from Sept 1, 2022 till date," the officer said.
The policy being implemented from September 1, 2022, has been extended for another six months as the excise department is working on a fresh policy. The Excise department is looking to increase brand availability, improve quality of government shops to be more customer friendly and focus on enforcement through active involvement of revenue department and police to check entry of illicit liquor in Delhi, added the officer.