The privately run liquor stores on Saturday offered schemes like buy one get two free to end their stock after Delhi government announced reversal of it’s excise policy from August 1, leading to a mad rush of booz lovers outside the vends.
The 468 private liquor shops operating in the city will be shut from August 1 as the term of their licences under the excise policy 2021-22 expires on July 31.
There was a rush of liquor buyers till late evening at the Star City Mall in Mayur Vihar Extension with vends fast running out of stock.
”Don’t go inside there is no liquor,” said a person returning empty handed from the mall housing several retail liquor stores.
Employees at the shops said most of the popular brands of different kinds of liquor and beer were sold out.
”There has been a mad rush since the afternoon hours. We are turning down customers asking for specific brands as most have been sold. Many people, however, buying whatever is available,” said employee of a shop in the mall.
Delhi is staring at a major liquor shortage in the coming days with private wine and beer stores going to shut shop from August 1 after Kejriwal government’s decision to withdraw it’s new Excise policy 20221-22.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia earlier on the day said that Delhi government has withdrawn the new excise policy and directed for selling liquor from government run stores only.
He said that the Chief Secretary has been asked to ensure that there is no chaos in the city during the transition period before opening of government liquor stores and also for keeping check on sale of illegal alcohol.
Excise Policy 2021-22 extended twice before for two months each after April, will come to an end on July 31 as Delhi government has decided to go back to old excise regime and run liquor stores for coming six months. It will be second time within any year as the city is staring at a liquor shortage. For thee weeks before new excise came into operation of private run liquor vends from November 17, 2021, there was shortage of alcohol in Delhi as government run stores and individual licensees were quitting retail business.
With the government taking back new excise policy, the booz lovers in the city were given rebates and special offers like one plus on and one plus two free by private vends for one last time in the city.
”The shop is going to close and we are selling out the stock. We have started offer of buy one get 2 free on all kinds of liquor and beer to dispose off stocks,” said a liquor vend employee in Laxmi Nagar.
Under new excise policy, licences for 849 retail vends were issued through open bidding by Excise department last year. Currently 468 liquor stores are running in the city that will quit business from August 1 rendering thousands of their employees jobless.
”Almost all the stock at the shop was sold. The shop will close and the workers here will loose their jobs now. Thousands of such other workers at private vends will similarly become unemployed,” said a liquor vend employee in INA market.
An official document from Finance department has directed the Excise Commissioner to coordinate with heads of four corporations of Delhi government for details of liquor vends operated by them before the new Excise Policy(2021-22) came into effect from November 17,2021.
The four corporations-DSIIDC, DTTDC. DCCWS and DSCSC- were running majority of liquor stores in the city before the Excise Policy 2021-22 came into being with Delhi government quitting retail sale of liquor.
The four government corporations ran 475 liquor stores out of total 864 in Delhi under the old excise policy regime. The private stores, licences held by individuals, numbered 389.