The new excise policy aims at revolutionising the consumer experience by replacing the existing liquor vends in the nooks and corners of Delhi.
The Delhi government will exit the liquor business as nearly 600 vends run by it will be shut from Tuesday night making way for new private shops with a walk-in facility, which will begin operations from Wednesday under the new excise policy brought in to boost the city’s revenue, crackdown on liquor mafia and improve user experience.
The private liquor vends already shut operations on September 30 and the government-owned shops, which were operating in the transition period of one-and-a-half months, will close on Tuesday night.
All the 850 liquor vends in the Capital, including the 260-odd outlets, run privately, have been given to private firms through open tender, under the new excise policy of the Delhi government implemented in June this year.
Under it, retailers are free to decide the selling prices in a competitive environment, rather than an MRP mandated by the government.
The new excise policy aims at revolutionising the consumer experience by replacing the existing liquor vends in the nooks and corners of the city, with swanky, well lit and air-conditioned liquor stores spread over at least 500 square feet area with a walk-in facility.
These new liquor vends will be set up in 32 zones across the city where people would be able to walk in and buy the brand of their choice just as they do in shopping malls. They will not have iron grilles at the front which most liquor vends in the Capital had.
The new liquor policy stipulates that the new liquor stores will have to be equipped with air-conditioning and CCTV cameras. It also bars selling liquor through grilled shops with people crowding outside on roads and pavements.
Five super-premium retail vends having an area of 2,500 square feet can open and a liquor tasting facility will also be developed at these super-premium retail vends under the new policy.
Business hours in the new vends in Delhi will be from 10am to 10pm and those at the airport may open round-the-clock.
Officials familiar with the transition process said the availability of liquor in the city may be affected in the first few weeks and that the prices may spike a little during the initial stage.
“Liquor prices may slightly start with higher rates in the initial days but, it could also be the other way round. Eventually, the prices are bound to stabilise and we can safely say that Delhi will be strongly competing with Gurugram in keeping liquor rates low and offering attractive discounts, which until now was not possible in the national capital,” a senior excise official, who asked not to be named, told Hindustan Times.
The Delhi government has already issued guidelines regarding placing orders and receiving the liquor stock for the upcoming shops under the new regime. These vends have already started placing orders for procurement of liquor from November 11, officials have said.