Delhi News : The Delhi government’s excise department has issued around 300 licences for opening retail and around 40 for wholesale liquor stores in the national capital and registered around 125 brands. By the end of the month, more licences are likely to be issued to the four Delhi government agencies for 500 stores by August 31, said an official. “It is an ongoing process and in the coming weeks more licences are likely to be issued and more brands to be registered,” said the official, requesting anonymity.
From September 1, Delhi will switch to the old excise policy under which only the government-run retail liquor stores will operate. Around 250 private liquor stores currently selling retail liquor are likely to close down.
The Delhi government last month decided to switch back to the old regime after lieutenant governor Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into alleged irregularities and corruption in the implementation of the new excise policy implemented in November.
The CBI was on Friday conducting raids, including at deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia’s residence, in connection with the alleged irregularities.
Officials said the Delhi government is working to ensure a smooth transition to the old regime. They added the task is challenging as they have to ensure that the transition policy does not lead to any serious liquor shortage and smuggling of illegal alcohol, which could be dangerous for the consumers’ health.