The impact of Delhi’s liquor policy rollback

Updated on Aug 01, 2022 04:38 AM IST
As this political saga plays out — the AAP blames the BJP, which argues that the rollback indicates possible wrongdoing — one thing is clear: The customer will be the worst affected
Heavy Rush seen near a liquor shop at Karol Bagh after the expected liquor shortage, July 30, 2022 (Hindustan Times) PREMIUM
Heavy Rush seen near a liquor shop at Karol Bagh after the expected liquor shortage, July 30, 2022 (Hindustan Times)
ByHT Editorial

Gleaming establishments ushering in world-class user experience to customers. A safe environment for women to buy liquor. An end to cartelisation, poor quality of alcohol and entrenched lobby groups controlling availability, finances and distribution. These were some of the promises made when Delhi adopted a new excise policy last year. Unfortunately, the promises have come to nought. The Delhi government announced this week that it will be reverting to its old excise policy and allowing liquor to be sold only through government outlets. This rollback came against the backdrop of a bruising battle between the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and lieutenant-governor VK Saxena, who reports to the Union home ministry, over alleged irregularities in the distribution of liquor licences. Mr Saxena last week recommended a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into alleged violations of rules and procedural lapses in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22.

Also Read | Delhi considering going back to its old excise policy

However, this political saga plays out — the AAP blames the Bharatiya Janata Party, which argues that the rollback indicates possible wrongdoing — one thing is clear: The customer will be the worst affected. With queues, panic-selling and the return of the theka, the possibility of a dignified purchase appears to be over, as is the likelihood of finding a wide variety of brands or customers feeling safe while buying liquor. It remains to be seen whether the reason for the crisis is political one-upmanship or corruption, but all parties concerned would do well to ensure governance and transparency are not affected by partisan squabbles that only hurt the quality of life of the ordinary Delhiite.

This Independence Day, get Flat 50% Off on Annual Subscription Plans

Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access with HT Premium
SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Close Story
SHARE
Story Saved
×
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, August 11, 2022
Start 15 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now