The ongoing Delhi Excise Policy, which has been shrouded with much controversy, is likely to be extended by two more months as it expires on July 31.
The new revised policy for 2022-23 was supposed to be implemented from June 1 but has been delayed for some reasons.
The Delhi Cabinet approved the Revised Excise Policy 2022-23 and the new proposals by the excise department and the group of ministers on May 5, but final approval for amendments and implementation on the ground has to be done by Delhi Lieutenant Governor V.K. Saxena.
However, the new policy has not been sent to LG for approval which has caused the extension of this controversial ongoing policy. The department is mandated to come out with a revised policy every financial year.
The Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, which should have been replaced by the revised policy of 2022-23, has already been extended twice for two months each – firstly by May 31 and secondly by July 31 and now again it is likely to be extended for two months.
Talking on the issue, a source said that the work to implement the new policy is in progress, but that may not be completed in time to implement from August 1.
However, the AAP government under the revised excise policy 2022-23, is planning to allow restaurants, bars and clubs to stay open till 3 am to promote city’s nightlife, allow home delivery of liquor, discontinue the compulsion opening of two liquor stores per ward, allow retailers to sell liquor chocolates and cigars etc to provide a better walk-in experience to consumers.
Meanwhile, the Delhi LG has recommended a CBI probe into the current policy which has “deliberate and gross procedural lapses”. The policy has been alleged to provide post tender undue benefits to liquor licensees for the year 2021-22.
According to a source, the LG has found “substantive indications” of a financial “quid pro quo” at the “top political level”.
The source said that taking the serious note of the “gross violations and deliberate lapses” in the formulation, amendment and implementation of the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, that came to the fore in the Chief Secretary’s report to the LG and Chief Minister under Rule 57 of ToBR, the Governor has also asked the Chief Secretary, GNCTD to submit a detailed report about the role played by officers and civil servants in the entire matter.