Delhi govt constitutes GoM on new excise policy

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New Delhi, Feb 5 (PTI) The Delhi government on Friday constituted a Group of Ministers (GoM) under Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to examine the current system of excise duty administration and the recommendations of an expert committee on a new excise policy.

Health Minister Satyendar Jain and Law Minister Kailash Gahlot are part of the GoM.

It will examine all aspects of the current system of excise duty administration and will go through the report of the expert committee and suggestions received from stakeholders and the public, a statement said.

The GoM will suggest a “progressive new Excise Policy in a transparent manner” to the Council of Ministers which is expected to make a final policy decision in the coming weeks, it said.

The expert committee had recommended that government vends be privatised and minimum age to buy or drink liquor be reduced to 21 years from 25 years - in line with cities of Gurgaon, Noida, Faridabad and Ghaziabad in the National Capital Region (NCR).

It had also recommended minimising the Delhi government's presence in the retail liquor sector and eventually exiting it altogether. The Delhi government had recently received around 10,000 suggestions on the recommendations of its expert committee on several issues, including opening more private liquor vends and reducing the legal age for drinking from 25 to 21 years.

Four liquor manufacturers had on Sunday raised objections to the new excise policy recommendations and warned that these would bring in cartelisation besides hitting the government's revenue. PTI GVS ANB ANB