In a move to liberalise the liquor policy, the Delhi government’s excise department has decided to allow P-10 permit holders to buy liquor from as many as three shops. Earlier, permit holders could purchase liquor from only one shop.
A P-10 permit is required for buying and serving liquor at a private function or a party.
Sources said the government decided to lift the restriction after many consumers complained about the inconvenience faced by them in purchasing liquor of their choice at a single shop.
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“If a person is hosting a private party in a club and wants liquor as part of menu, they can get get it only from a shop that issues a P-10 licence. But consumers have complained that a single shop might not have a variety of liquor. Now, a person with the permit can buy liquor from three shops,” said a senior official.
As part of excise reforms, the department has also allowed all liquor shops to issue P-10 licences. “Any private individual who wants to hold a party with liquor in the menu has to obtain a P-10 permit. This was earlier acquired from a handful of shops. Two months ago, the department permitted every liquor shop to issue the permit. This made acquiring liquor permit for a day for personal consumption convenient,” said a source.
Sources said the move to allow all shops to issue the permit has proved beneficial for the department, as it helped increase the department’s revenue. In February 2015, the revenue was Rs 2.20 crore while in February 2016 it was Rs 2.68 crore. Similarly, the revenue in March 2015 was Rs 1.08 crore, while in March 2016 it increased to Rs 1.53 crore.
However, the department has made permit rules stringent so that permit-holders don’t acquire liquor illegally at cheaper rates. The onus on ensuring that every bottle used at a party is accounted for lies with the consumer or permit-holder, said sources.
“Every bottle has a bar code and every P-10 permit has details of bottles and bar codes… If anyone brings extra liquor and our teams find unaccounted bottles, the punishment will be prison and a fine,” said an official.
Sources said the excise teams will conduct surprise checks at parties to ensure they have the permit and that the department is not losing out on revenue.