Legal age for alcohol consumption lowered to 21 yrs: Delhi Dy CM Sisodia

Our Bureau | | Updated on: Mar 22, 2021
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Delhi govt not to run alcohol shops henceforth

Delhi Cabinet has approved a new excise policy that lowers the minimum age of alcohol consumption from 25 to 21 years besides stipulating that no new liquor shop will be opened in the national capital territory.

Also, henceforth there will be no government-run liquor shops in Delhi, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia told on Monday. After 2017, not a single new liquor shop has been added in Delhi.

He said that the focus of the new excise policy will be to prevent evasion of tax and duties. “We expect revenues to grow 20 per cent. Additional annual revenue of ₹1,500-2,000 crore is expected”, he said.

Liquor is one of the main source of revenue for the Delhi government and as much as ₹ 5,400 crore was earned from its sale in 2019-20.

Sisodia said all the existing government run stores will be auctioned off to private players.

The latest reforms are flowing out of recommendations of report of Group of Ministers which was considered by the Cabinet on Monday.

Delhi has 275 wards and as many as 79 wards have no shops as yet; 45 wards have one shop each. There are 850 shops selling liqour and 50 per cent of them are in 45 wards. As much as 50 per cent of Delhi government revenues from liquor are coming from 189 shops (46 wards). There is revenue leakage in other wards, Sisodia noted.

Sisodia also said that Delhi government will put in place an international system to ensure that no spurious liquor is sold and quality is maintained.

No liquor shop will be less than 500 square feet. Also no shop will be street facing and no sale will be possible from windows/counters outside the shops.

Published on March 22, 2021

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