Hotels, bars and shops closed as the Excise Department has yet to issue an extension order


Even though the AAP government granted a one-month extension of the current liquor excise policy, clubs, hotels and restaurants in Delhi were not serving liquor as concern over the future of their licenses of alcohol was clearly visible. The Delhi government decided on Sunday to extend retail licenses for a month, after they expire on July 31. The Excise Department will issue an order to that effect after Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena’s nod to the Delhi cabinet’s decision.

According to reports, the nation’s capital saw its bars and liquor sales as the government led by Arvind Kejriwal wanted to extend the excise policy (2021-22) from August 1 to August 31, but the Lieutenant Governor (LG ) Vinai Kumar Saxena hadn’t given a green flag yet. It would be illegal to sell alcohol in the nation’s capital now, as the policy’s expiration date was July 31 and no extensions were permitted.

However, according to officials quoted by Livemint, LG Saxena has not yet reviewed and authorized the file. He is supposed to do it today, that is August 1st. The license will not be renewed until Saxena allows the AAP government to carry out the order in practice.

Rahul Singh, the founder of Beer Cafe, told Livemint that if the deadline is not extended by August 1, Delhi will completely ban on-site alcohol sales. If this happens, restaurants, taverns, bars and clubs would have to stop providing alcohol and chaos will be created because everyone including customers and businesses except the government.

With liquor stores closed, employees strolled to talk to customers who were eagerly awaiting the reopening of outside sales, news agency PTI reported. “We don’t know when the order will arrive. Even if it happens today, there is nothing for sale in the store,” said a liquor sales employee near ITO.

A zonal licensee said there was still uncertainty as the excise service order was delayed. “Since the government announced the return to the old excise policy regime, we were in the process of wrapping up our business. “We are the most affected because despite huge investments, we are forced to stop alcohol retailing within months,” he said.

The Excise Department of the Delhi government, in an order issued on Saturday, extended the licenses of more than 250 country liquor stores in the city. “The extension is subject to the payment of a prorated fee for the extension period,” the order reads.

Tenders for a country liquor license have been issued twice in recent months. The first time the tender failed to attract a sufficient number of bidders while the Excise Department abandoned it a second time after discovering that bidders were ‘bundling up’ to keep the bids low. a low level, they added.

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