Liquor to get cheaper in Delhi: Govt allows discounts on MRP, tries to match prices with Haryana, Punjab, UP

By: |
July 06, 2021 4:43 PM

Soon, Delhiites may not have to go to Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to buy cheaper liquor, as the Delhi government has allowed sale of alcohol at discount on MRP, and has proposed to bring prices closer to that in the neighbouring states.

All restaurants, hotels and clubs are now allowed to operate and serve liquor till 3 am under the new policy.

Soon, Delhiites may not have to go to Haryana, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan to buy cheaper liquor, as the Delhi government has allowed sale of alcohol at discount on MRP, and has proposed to bring prices closer to that in the neighbouring states. Under the existing liquor policy, liquor stores in Delhi are not free to give any kind of discounts on the MRP of brands. However, with the new policy, the “licensee is free to give concession, rebate or discount on the MRP,” read the government notification.

Further, the changes to the liquor excise policy for the year 2021-22, announced on 5 July 2021, also allow restaurants and clubs to sell liquor till 3 am. The policy also seeks to make it easier for banquet halls and event venues to get licenses to sell liquor. In addition to this, the changes include convenient walk-in experience, extension of timings for serving alcohol in bars, hotels, restaurants and clubs, discounts on MRP and promotion of microbreweries.

Extended hours for liquor sale

All restaurants, hotels and clubs are now allowed to operate and serve liquor till 3 am under the new policy. This is not applicable to those places that have been given license to operate round the clock service of liquor. The liquor can also be served on open spaces like terraces and balconies.

Cheap liquor in small shops; expensive ones in premium stores

To be sure, the government highlighted that there will be 849 retail liquor vends in the city and this will include five super premium retail vends having a minimum carpet area of 2,500 sq ft. Now these super Premium Vends will have a tasting room and are allowed to sell products that are above Rs 200 (for beer) and Rs 1,000 for all other spirits. This is inclusive of Gin, Whiskey, Vodka and Brandy among others. Other alcohols can be found in smaller shops as compared to premium stores.

Avoiding interstate purchase of alcohol

It is seen that people often cross the city borders to get liquor from the neighbouring states, where it is cheaper, especially when they have to buy in bulk. Taking this into account, the policy said that it is giving L-7Z licensees two weeks to submit their inputs on the MRP of each product. “The Excise Commissioner will fix MRP for each product after taking into account the inputs from L-7Z and L-7SP1 licensees and the price of the product in the neighboring states i.e Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Rajasthan,” read the new liquor policy.

Walk-in experience

All liquor outlets in the city are now expected to provide an experience to customers which is inclusive of having multiple brands to choose from. According to the policy, these retail vends will have to be air-conditioned and have glass doors. This will reduce crowding in front of outlets. Now only this, all people in Delhi can visit any microbrewery and fill their own bottles or ‘growlers’ with freshly brewed beer.

Be it bulk buying or buying in small quantities, the policy changes aim to boost the revenues from liquor within the city. The policy comes at a time when the state government is trying to boost the revenues coming in from liquor. The government, in the policy, highlighted that the current revenue generation from excise is at a suboptimal level, and the current policy is ‘cumbersome’ and ‘archaic’. It also said, “Systemic measures are being taken to check smuggling and bootlegging, such as adequate spread of retail vends and insignificant or no price differential with the neighbouring States thereby eliminating the arbitrage for smuggling.”

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