Delhi allows home delivery of liquor via app, website under amended rules; Oppn slams govt

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New Delhi, Jun 1 (PTI) Delhiites may soon order liquor through a mobile app or website for home delivery, with the Delhi government amending the excise rules through a notification that also allows take-away of draught beer in bottles or growlers from micro-breweries.

An official said that the amended rules were implemented with the issuance of notification, but the new facilities will take some time as the government will have to decide dates for implementing different provisions by notifying the new excise policy or separate term and conditions.

The Delhi Excise(Amendment) Rules, 2021, published in a gazette notification on Monday, permit the holders of the necessary licences to serve liquor in open spaces such as terraces, the courtyards of clubs, bars attached to hotels and independent restaurants where customers will also have choice of getting alcohol in bottles.

However, it will be the sole responsibility of such establishments to ensure that no customer takes the served bottles out of the licensed premises.

The move will boost the government's revenue at a time when Delhi's economy is struggling due to ongoing lockdown that was implemented on April 19.

According to the notification, the licensee will make delivery of liquor at the residences only if order is received through an app or a web portal.

Such deliveries will not be allowed at offices, institutions and hostels.

The provision of home delivery of liquor ordered through FAX or e mail, by L-13 licence holderes was there in Excise Rules 2010 but it could not take off, officials said.

'L-13 is an existing license which has been amended. No license for L-13 or home delivery of license has been issued,' a government official said.

The Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC) welcomed the government's move to allow home delivery of liquor.

'This has been consistent demand we have been making for a long time. Last month also, we had requested the government to allow home-delivery of liquor in Delhi. There are many states which have already implemented this and there has been no adverse coming out of this facility,' CIABC Director General Vinod Giri told PTI.

The amended rules also introduced L-7SP1 category of licence paving way for 'super premium' retail vend of Indian and foreign liquor, and L-12 for retail vend of beer and wine in departmental stores.

The notification issued by the Delhi finance department in the name of Lt Governor states that in hotels, no liquor will be served by the licensee at any place other than the room in which the person ordering it resides for the time being.

The government also permitted the sale of medicated wines in the city, which is usually prepared by using wine as a solvent to soak out the effective components of herbs.

'The licensee shall not sell any article covered by his licence except for medicinal purpose. The licensee shall not sell to any person at any one time any article covered by his licence in greater quantity than 9 litres or twelve quart bottles, provided that sale in larger quantities may be made to persons holding a chemist's licence and to government and charitable dispensaries,' notification stated. Micro-breweries will be allowed to supply draught beer to other bars, restaurants and events.

The government also introduced licence in form of L-37 for hotel management institutes for keeping liquor for the purpose of training.

'The licence shall be issued to hotel management institute or other teaching institute recognised by the government. The liquor shall be used for teaching purpose only. The liquor shall be purchased from licensed retail vends only. The limit of liquor shall be decided by the excise commissioner,' it added.

Citing the notified Excise(Amendment) Rules 2021, opposition BJP and Congress trained guns at Kejriwal government in Delhi.

Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta said the Kejriwal government's decision to have liquor delivered at door step was against Indian culture.

'At a time of pandemic when the government should have tried to improve health and medical services, it is busy with how to have liquor delivered at door step of people,' Gupta said.

The Kejriwal government is busy ensuring home delivery of liquor instead of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic in the city, alleged Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also criticised the Delhi government for allowing home delivery of liquor instead of opening shops and markets on priority.

Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary of CAIT, alleged in a statement that despite several requests, the Chief Minister did not allow them to reopen shops.

The decision shows that 'liquor is more important for him', he said. PTI VIT MAH BUN BUN TIR TIR