NEW DELHI: After Swaraj Abhiyan, led by Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan friends-turned-foe of Delhi Chief Minister, launched a campaign against Aam Aadmi party government for increase in number of liquor shops across the city, Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday declared that the no new liquor shop will be sanctioned with a government license in the national capital.
The group alleged that since February, when the Kejriwal government came to power, 58 new liquor shops have opened.
Kejriwal said that the no new liquor shop will be sanctioned with a government license in the national capital and only L-10 licences will be granted for opening shops in shopping malls. He also said that Mohalla Sabhas will decide whether to continue the same or close down the concerned shop. In other words, power to close liquor vend is vested with Mohalla Sabha. The decision of the Mohalla Sabha will be binding on the Excise Commissioner. Besides, there is no hike in excise duty which means that liquor prices would remain the same in the national capital.
Every liquor shop owner and manager will now be responsible for maintaining decorum around the shop, failing which they will face strict action, including cancellation of the licence.
At present Delhi government’s four corporations namely Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation (DSCSC), Delhi State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC) and Delhi Consumer's Cooperative Wholesale Store Ltd (DCCWS ) are engaged in the retail trade of liquor, with a total 356 shops for Indian Liquor and Beer and 104 shops for country liquor. The private entrepreneurs are also holding 90 shops for retail sale of Indian Liquor and Beer all over Delhi. Besides, the government has also issued several dozen licenses (L-10) to liquor vends at shopping mall.
Announcing the Delhi cabinet decision of approving Delhi Excise Policy 2016, Kejriwal said that no new liquor shop with L6 license -- government license DTTDC, DSIDC, DSCSC and DCCWS -- will be opened in Delhi."
The decision was taken by the government following several complaints of unruly behaviour from places around liquor shops. "If people are upset with liquor shops, then mohalla sabhas (neighbourhood meetings) will decide whether to shift them or shut them down," Kejriwal said.
According to cabinet note, if a complaint is received against any vend -- L-6 for government run corporations and L-7 for retail trade of Indian Liquor and Beer by private entrepreneurs-- which is signed by at least 10 percent of the registered voters of the Mohalla Sabha, then Deputy Commissioner (Excise) shall place it before the Mohalla Sabha in presence of 15 percent registered voters who will decide the complaint and will pass a resolution by 2/3 votes present in the voting.
A decision needs to be backed by a two-thirds majority. To encourage the role of women in decision-making, it will be mandatory that 33 per cent of women should participate in such meetings.
The deputy commissioner shall act in accordance with this decision. The decision would be binding by Commissioner of Excise. “If a Mohalla Sabha decides by two-thirds majority against having a liquor vend in the area, the government will immediately shift it from that place,” Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said.
The government has also made it clear that liquor franchisees need to ensure that there are no brawls outside their shops.
Claiming its victory, Swaraj Abhiyan welcomes the announcement by Delhi CM that the government will not be opening any new liquor shop in Delhi for the next one year. “It is due to the impact of the campaign by Swaraj Abhiyan that the government, which had continuously been dodging these serious issues, had to finally wilt under pressure of the people of Delhi,” they claimed.