With new retail licenses coming into effect from mid-November, no alcohol sales will open in 105 of Delhi’s 272 municipal wards as of October 1, officials said on Monday.
As part of the city government’s new excise policy, alcohol retail licenses have already been issued to the highest bidders in 32 zones, each with around 10 neighborhoods and 27 liquor vendors.
The bidding process for the 32 zones, concluded by the excise department in two phases in August and September, brought in revenues for the government in excess of Rs 8,900 crore.
The government of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the national capital decided to shut down around 260 private liquor distributors after September 30. There are a total of 849 liquor distributors in the city, the majority of which are operated by three Delhi branches. government.
The excise department, in an order issued earlier this month, allowed Delhi government-run liquor vendors to continue retailing alcohol until November 16 after paying the license fee required.
Companies that have obtained licenses in the 32 zones under the new excise policy through competitive bidding will begin retailing from Nov. 17, according to the ordinance.
Officials said there were around 80 neighborhoods in the city without any alcohol sales. In 26 neighborhoods, there are currently only private liquor stores that will close from October 1, they added.
“Virtually the 105 wards of the city’s three municipalities will no longer have functional alcohol sales after September 30,” an officer said.
Closing private liquor stores from Oct. 1 could lead to a “temporary shortage” of alcohol, as only government-run liquor stores will open for a month and a half before Nov. 17, officials said. .
The new excise policy aims for a fair distribution of the city’s liquor stores by segmenting it into 32 zones. Currently, the spatial distribution of alcohol sales is skewed, with some neighborhoods having up to 10 alcohol sales and others having none, officials added.
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