New Delhi: The Delhi government on Monday reduced the minimum age for liquor consumption from 25 to 21 years.
Announcing the new norms, which were approved by the Cabinet, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said the government decided to omit all the factors which are the fundamental reasons behind the existence of liquor mafias.
The Deputy CM announced that no new liquor shops will be opened in the national capital.
“There are around more than 60 per cent of liquor shops that come under the state government. We have also noted that 40 per cent of private liquor shops give more revenue than state government-owned shops. So we have decided that the government will get out of the liquor retail business. Because revenue leakage in government shops are taking place,” Mr Sisodia said.
The Deputy CM expected that a revenue growth of 20 per cent is estimated after the reforms in excise department.
“The main reason behind this decision was to clean the liquor system of the national capital,” Mr Sisodia averred.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal hailed the Cabinet decisions and said that it will act as a major blow to liquor mafia in Delhi.
“The mafia will do everything to obstruct these reforms. AAP govt has ended mafia raj in many sectors like education, water, electricity, health etc. We are committed to reforming this sector too,” the CM said.
According to the new excise policy, a liquor store should be constructed on a minimum permissible area of 500 square-foot.