This Article is From Jul 30, 2022

Probe Officials Threaten Liquor Shops: Delhi Minister On Policy Roll Back

The old excise policy will be implemented for the next six months as the Delhi government is working to streamline a new policy for 2022-23.

Delhi's deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia alleged that the BJP threatened excise officials.

New Delhi:

Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday accused the BJP of "threatening shopkeepers and officers" with Enforcement Directorate and CBI cases and alleged that the BJP wanted to close legal liquor shops in Delhi and earn money from illegal outlets like in Gujarat, a dry state.

"Like Gujarat, they (BJP) want to promote sale of spurious, off-duty liquor by threatening Delhi's shop-owners, officers," Mr Sisodia said.

His reaction came after the Delhi government decided to go back to the old regime of retail liquor sales for six months amid an ongoing investigation into the new excise policy

"The BJP used CBI, ED to threaten liquor licensees, excise department officials so that new excise policy fails," Mr Sisodia alleged.

"We have withdrawn new excise policy and directed opening government liquor stores," he said. "I have also directed chief secretary to ensure no chaos during transition period."

A rough draft of the 2022-23 excise policy is yet to be sent to the Leutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena for his approval. The 2021-22 excise policy was extended twice after March 31 this year and will come to an end on July 31.

Opposition leader Manoj Tiwari, responding to Mr Sisodia's comments alleged that the new excise policy was withdrawn because Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal fears going to jail.

"Arvind Kejriwal fears going to jail that is why his government decided to withdraw the new excise policy," said Mr Tiwari.

"People of Delhi will not forgive him until the money that his government has looted is recovered," he added.

The excise department recommends home delivery of liquor, among other things, in the new excise policy of 2022-23.

The finance department has sought details of liquor vends operated by the four corporations of the Delhi government before the new excise policy came into effect from November 17, 2021.

Before the 2021-22 excise policy came into effect, the four corporations - Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), Delhi Consumer's Cooperative Wholesale Store (DCCWS) and Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation (DSCSC) -  ran 475 liquor stores out of total 864 in the city while private stores, licences held by individuals, numbered 389.