New Delhi: Around 850 swanky liquor stores are likely to open across the national capital as the new excise policy comes into effect today. The state government quit the retail liquor business with nearly 600 government-run liquor vends operating across the national capital shutting shop on Tuesday. Under the new excise regime, the liquor business will be handled completely by private players and people will now be able to walk in swanky liquor vends and buy the brands of their choice as they do in malls.
The new excise policy is aimed at revolutionising the consumer experience as stylish liquor stores are set to replace the existing government-run shops. The policy was put in the public domain in July under which spacious, well lit and air-conditioned liquor vends will be set up in 32 zones across the city. Some liquor outlets will also have tasting facilities to enhance users’ experience.
The new private licence holders can start the retail sale of liquor in Delhi starting today, with one retail licensee to have 27 liquor shops per zone. The shops will remain open from 10am to 10pm.
The L-17 licensees, which include independent restaurants and gastro-bars, will be able to serve liquor in the balcony, terrace, and lower area of the restaurant given the area is screened off from public view.
But the transition may initially cause a shortage of liquor and chaos as shops in many areas are still preparing for operations.
“Not more than 250-300 shops will be able to function on the first day. There maybe some shortage in the initial few days due to lesser number of shops, however, it will end as new vends come up,” Delhi Liquor Trade Association President Naresh Goyal told media.