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Delhi liquor policy row | Delhi Govt To Go Back To Old Liquor Policy After L-G Recommends CBI Probe Into New Policy

After LG VK Saxena's recommendation for a CBI probe into the new excise policy, the Delhi govt has decided to go back to the old regime of retail liquor sale

Image: PTI


After the lieutenant governor's recommendation for a CBI probe into the new excise policy, the Delhi government has decided to go back to the old regime of retail liquor sale in the city, officials said on Friday.

The Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, which was extended twice after March 31 for two months each, will come to an end on July 31. The excise department is still working on the Excise Policy 2022-23 that recommends home delivery of liquor in Delhi, among other things. The draft policy is yet to be sent to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena for his approval, officials said.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who also holds the excise portfolio, directed the department on Thursday to "revert" to the old regime of the excise policy for a period of six months till a fresh policy is in place, they said.

Under the excise policy 2021-22, licences of 849 liquor vendors were issued through open bidding to private firms. The city was divided into 32 zones with each having a maximum of 27 vendors. Instead of individual licences, bidding was done zone-wise and each bidder was allowed to bid for a maximum of two zones.

Earlier, the four government corporations ran 475 liquor stores out of a total of 864 in Delhi. The private stores, licences held by individuals, numbered 389.

 

Delhi liquor policy row

Last week Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena recommended a CBI probe into the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, holding Deputy CM Manish Sisodia accountable. The incident had led to a face-off between the BJP-led Centre and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.

Following the recommendation for CBI probe, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal lashed out at the Centre, saying the Lieutenant Governor was making "false allegations" and leaders of the AAP were "not afraid of jail".

The Lt Governor's move came after a report submitted by Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar on the matter. The report, which officials said was submitted on July 8, accuses Sisodia of providing undue benefits to liquor vend licensees in lieu of "kickbacks" and "commissions" and the money being used in the recent Punjab elections.

(With agency inputs)

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