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Liquor sale goes fully private in Delhi: Selling booze is not its job, Govt realises at last!

All liquor shops in Delhi are privately-owned from Wednesday. And there will not be any Government control on sale prices. They are open from 10 am till 10 pm. About 850 vends were supposed to begin sale but many are yet to complete the modifications as required under the new regulations to ensure shopping a customer-friendly experience.

Under the new policy, there will be liquor shops in each of a total of 280 wards in the city and they will be well-equipped. There will also be five "super-premium" vends of international standards with a tasting room.

NEW DELHI, Nov 17: A Government in Delhi has finally realised for good that selling liquor is not its job. The Kejriwal Government exited the business of liquor sale on November 16, in accordance with a new liquor policy it had formulated early this year. Previous Governments had been doing the business for several decades. The new system of swamky walk-in private vends kicked in on Wednesday.

Now on liquor stores are run exclusively by private entities. There were about 850 liquor stores in Delhi, of which only 276 were privately run. The licence of all these stores expired on October 1. The private shops were to reopen under the new dispensation on November 17 while the Government vends continued on extended licence to cater for the customers during the transition period of 45 days till November 16 and then exited.

A new system of tendering of liquor vends was followed for the private shops. Meanwhile, the Government had ordered its stores to stock up for the festival season that fell in the transition period.

“Delhi is going to witness a transition phase in the liquor management. However, the Delhi Government is putting its best foot forward to ensure that the residents do not face much of a problem. Government-owned liquor shops have been instructed to make sure they have sufficient stocks to fulfil the demand during this period. The liquor shops have been directed to release payments on time to suppliers so that the supply chains don’t get choked. We expect that in a situation where sufficient supply is maintained, crowding or any other incidents will not take place. We want to reassure the public that they do not need to hoard or rush to stores in this situation as all Government-owned shops will continue to function,” the Government said had in a statement.

Under the new policy, there will be liquor shops in each of a total of 280 wards in the city and they will be well-equipped. Earlier all the wards did not have liquor shops. There may be a total of about 300-350 vends open on the first day in the 32 zones. There will be five "super-premium" vends of international quality with a tasting room. The new licensees had already started placing orders since November 10.

However, it may take a week or two for the new system to become fully functional as new arrangements and modifications are to be made as per the new regulations. The timing will be from 10 am to 10 pm and the Government has allowed the liquor shops to fix the sale price as they like without any control.

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