The national capital will not get any new liquor shop or restro bar in the current financial year, and residents are being empowered to take a final call on whether existing liquor shops should be all
The national capital will not get any new liquor shop or restro bar in the current financial year, and residents are being empowered to take a final call on whether existing liquor shops should be allowed to continue in their respective areas. The decision to this effect was recently taken by deputy CM Manish Sisodia. This means that the AAP government’s excise depar-tment would not issue license to any new liquor shop or restro bars across the city despite new excise policy approved in July having provision that the licences could be given to shopping mall if they meet the set criteria or guidelines. The decision is bound to affect the revenue collection of the state government which had set to raise about Rs 3,400 crore from excise duty during the current fiscal.
After approving the new excise policy for 2016-17, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and Mr Sisodia had announced in August that no new liquor shop would be opened in Delhi, except in shopping malls. Now, the government has decided that new liquor shops will not be opened even in shopping malls.
“The government has decided not to issue any liquor license to any shop or any restro bar this year in the national capital,” a source told this newspaper. The decision is bound to affect the revenue collections of the excise department. The revenue raised through excise duty so far is less than 10 per cent of the total target set for the current financial year.
A senior officer said that the AAP government’s decision seemed to have been influenced by the popularity that Bihar CM Nitish Kumar had gained after he banned the sale of liquor in his state. Currently, manufacture and sale of liquor is prohibited in Gujarat, Kerala, Nagaland, Bihar and the Union Territory of Lakshwadeep. The government also seems to be under pressure from the recently-launched Swaraj Abhiyan’s protests against liquor shops in the city. The newly-launched political outfit has claimed that there was a “proliferation” of liquor vends in the city ever since the AAP government came to power. It claimed that “58 new liquor vends” have already come up under the AAP regime in the city.
Official figures show that there are 877 liquor vends and 691 restaurants having licence to serve liquor in the city. In addition, there are 50 clubs having liquor serving facility. The revenue raised through excise duty in 2005-2006 had gone up from Rs 1,024.80 crore to Rs 2,533.72 crore in 2012-2013.
The excise department had raised `2,869.74 crore in 2013-2014 and `3,151.63 crore in 2014-15.