Allow private liquor vends to operate too: Traders to govt

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New Delhi: Days after the government said it will sell liquor only from government-run stores from September 1, those who ran private shops till September 2021 have requested the government to reinstate their licences.
In a letter to the excise commissioner, Delhi Liquor Traders Association said the private shop owners lost their licences in 2021 only because of the implementation of the new excise policy. “We, otherwise, have always abided by all the applicable laws and excise regulations. We had a great partnership with the Delhi excise department for 15-20 years. But a majority of us are currently jobless. We request that the privately operated retail licences be reinstated simultaneously with the government retail licences,” said Naresh Goyal, president of the association.
Under the new excise policy, the excise department had divided Delhi into 32 zones and gave licences to bigger establishments. Now, with controversies swirling around the contentious policy, the government has decided to move back to the old excise regime but only the government undertakings have been allowed to open shops from September 1. In the old policy, which was in place till November 16, 2021, private operators ran 475 of 864 shops in Delhi.
The liquor trade body said despite having only 40% of the total shops in Delhi during the old excise regime, private retailers contributed 60% revenue from the liquor sale to the state exchequer.
“Of 272 MCD wards, 77 didn’t have a single retail liquor shop while in 28, only privately-owned wine shops were located. In 67 wards, only one government shop was located but the area was still well served. Delhi’s elite class too preferred to come to private stores since we offered a wide range of brands, self-service options and premium outlets,” Goyal said. While government corporations were still scouting for space for opening their stores, Goyal added that most private licensees had their own space.

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