New Delhi, Mar 22 (PTI) In wake of the AAP dispensation’s decision to shut all state-run liquor shops, the excise department of the Delhi government is likely to face an uphill task of ensuring that private players fill the gap within three months – the duration for which licenses of all liquor vends in the city were renewed recently.
In the national capital, there are around 850 liquor shops and nearly 475 of them are run by four state-run agencies — Delhi State Industrial & Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation (DSCSC) & Delhi Consumer’s Cooperative Wholesale Store (DCCWS). Sources said licenses of government-run liquor shops were extended by three months, implying that private players will have to fill the gap within a short period of time.
'The excise department had sought more time for shutting down state-run shops as it would be an uphill task for us to fill the gap once these establishments are completely closed. However, the government has given three-month extension to such vends,' a source told PTI.
The source said government-run liquor shops will have to clear their unsold stock within three months.
Asked whether existing state-run shops will be auctioned off, the source said all the four government agencies will have to explore more options and they are free to do anything.
On Monday, the government decided to lower legal drinking age to 21 from 25 years and allow only private liquor shops in the national capital.
The government decided to shut all its shops in the national capital as they were generating less earnings in comparison to private liquor stores.
Currently, 40 per cent of around 850 establishments in the national capital are privately run.
According to the government, state-run vends were indulging in 'brand pushing' and there were also instances of revenue leakage.
Addressing a press conference, Sisodia said the new measure will put an end to the liquor buying experience from a 'jail-like setup' at state-run shops.
Private liquor shops being allowed should have a minimum area of 500 square feet. PTI BUN RHL