Delhi reduces drinking age to 21, to withdraw all govt liquor shops

By: |
March 22, 2021 5:55 PM

Manish Sisodia today announced a number of reforms in its liquor policy and said that by changing excise policy, the government was trying to remove all those factors by which liquor mafias run their business in Delhi.

"Delhi has 172 wards, 79 wards has no shops, 45 wards have just 1 shop — 158 wards are either unserved or under-served where illicit liquor selling happens," Sisodia said.

 

Delhi Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia on Monday announced that the legal age to drink in Delhi will now be 21 instead of 25. He also said that there will be no government liquor stores in Delhi. “No new liquor shops will be opened in the national capital,” the deputy chief minister said. Sisodia today announced a number of reforms in its liquor policy and said that by changing excise policy, the government was trying to remove all those factors by which liquor mafias run their business in Delhi.

Sisodia said that an expert committee was set up to improve customer experience, identify revenue leakage and illicit stores in Delhi. A group of ministers studied the report submitted by the committee and made its recommendations before the Cabinet. In a detailed presentation, Sisodia said that Delhi has a large under-served area where there liquor stores are less thereby creating an opportunity for liquor mafia to thrive.

“Delhi has 172 wards, 79 wards has no shops, 45 wards have just 1 shop — 158 wards are either unserved or under-served where illicit liquor selling happens,” Sisodia said. He also said that 50 per cent of all shops are concentrated in just 45 wards. Similar situation is on the revenue side with 50 percent money coming from 46 wards — “this shows leakage is happening in different areas because liquor consumption is happening in rest of the places too”.

In the last two years, the government seized over 7 lakh bottles, filed 1864 FIRs against liquor mafias, arrested 1939 people, seized 1014 vehicles involved in delivery – “but this was just the tip of the iceberg”. Sisodia said that now the government has decided not to open any new shop in the national capital. He informed that since 2016, no new shop has been opened in Delhi. In Delhi, 60 per cent shops are run by the government. At these shops, he said, many irregularities were found like brand pushing and tax theft. Collection in private 40 per cent shops are more than collection from government shops. “So the government decided to withdraw all government shops in Delhi,” he said.

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