The Delhi government has finally made its new excise policy public, permitting hotels, clubs and restaurants in the national capital to serve Indian or foreign liquor in any area within the licensed premises, including the terrace, balcony or lower area till 3 a.m.
The much debated new excise policy aims to introduce sweeping changes in the city’s liquor business, clean up malpractices, and improve user experience.
According to the details available on its website, the policy allows microbreweries to supply draught beer to bars and also provide takeaway services. It said that wherever draught beer is being served as a takeaway, clear signage and information will be needed to put up about its short shelf life and the bottles will have to mention the expiry date clearly.
It further stated that draught beer shall also be allowed to be served at permitted events, banquet halls that have temporary licences such as P-10, P-10E etc. The policy clearly states that establishments found selling draught beer after its expiry date will immediately have its license revoked.
However, the new policy made no mention about reducing the legal drinking age from 25 years to 21 years, as had earlier been announced.
The AAP-led Delhi government has already made it clear that the new excise policy has been framed promoting private players in the business up to 100 per cent.
Keeping in view the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) protocols in place, the new policy strictly prohibits crowding outside a vendor on the pavement and buying through the counter.
Policy will also allow bars in hotels, restaurants and clubs to operate till 3 a.m., “except those licensees which have been given license to operate round the clock service of liquor.”
In the new policy, the number of retail liquor vends has been capped at 849 in the city. These include five super premium retail vends that will have a minimum carpet area of 2,500 Sq Ft.
The super premium vends can sell products only above Rs 200 for beer and above Rs 1,000 retail price for all other spirits, including but not limited to Whiskey, Gin, Vodka, Brandy etc.
With the new policy, the Delhi government expects its revenue to grow by 20 per cent in a year.