scorecardDelhi faces a dry day-like situation in spite of licence extension
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Delhi faces a dry day-like situation in spite of licence extension

Delhi faces a dry day-like situation in spite of licence extension
IndiaIndia2 min read
Delhi on Monday faced a "dry day" like situation as all the private liquor shops and bars remained closed.

Despite a one-month extension announced by the Delhi government, the liquor vends kept shutters down and no alcohol could be served in hotels, clubs and bars as their excise licences expired on July 31.

"The Delhi government has decided to extend existing licences of liquor shops till August 31", said a source on Monday. However, the liquor shops will open only after the excise department's order following getting the approval from the Lieutenant Governor.

As on Monday evening, the nod from the LG office on the extension of licences for one month was not given which led to the shutdown of the shops in the city.

"We had the licence to operate till July 31 only and the excise department has not granted any extension to us yet. So we have closed the the service of liquor for today", said Irfan, manager of a well known bar and restaurant chain. He added that they have been told to remain closed for today, once the order comes, we hope to open tomorrow again, he said.

A zonal license holder, on the condition of anonymity, said that so much uncertainty has shrouded the policy. We don't have any idea what will be followed tomorrow. If the order comes allowing us, there may be issues of shortage also, he said.

"Shutdown of shops and bars for one or two days is a routine matter and doesn't affect any stakeholder much. But if shops are unable to open soon in a normal way, the supply chain will get disrupted and that takes time to restart. Trade anyway is not expected to stock up for short term extensions. This disruption is a loss to all stakeholders, whether it's the government, the manufacturers, the restaurants or the consumers", Vinod Giri, Director General of the Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC), told IANS.

However, the Delhi government has also decided to go back to the old regime of retail liquor sale in the city for six months following Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena's recommendation for a CBI probe into the implementation of the new excise policy.

But, before that the AAP government has decided to give an extension for one month as it will take time to transit from the ongoing excise policy to the old regime.

As per the source, the AAP government has sent the decision of its cabinet to extend the existing liquor vend licences for one month, up to August 31, to the Lt Governor. "The orders allowing the liquor stores to remain open after July 31 will be issued after the LG's approval," a source said.

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