The Delhi Cabinet Tuesday cleared a new excise policy which, among others things, seeks to curb smuggling of foreign liquor from Haryana to Delhi by ensuring parity in prices. Under the policy, liquor importers and wholesale vendors will have to submit affidavits declaring that the wholesale price as submitted for price fixation in Delhi is the “lowest anywhere in India”.
Presently, only the licencees need to submit such affidavits.
A senior official explained that the current arrangements had led to a situation where the price difference in the MRPs became too wide between Delhi and Haryana, leading to large-scale smuggling from towns such as Gurgaon and Faridabad.
Meanwhile, the new policy has also tightened the rules of obtaining permits for serving liquor at unlicensed premises by making the Deputy Commissioner of the Excise Department the sole sanctioning authority, ending the prevailing arrangement where retail liquor vends can also issue permits. Unlicensed premises, mostly restaurants or banquet halls, can currently obtain temporary permits – P 10 – to serve liquor through retail vends holding L-6, L-7 and L-10 licences.
But under the amended policy, “P-10 permit may be issued by the Deputy Commissioner for specific occasion.” The move was necessitated as many unlicensed eating houses, which are otherwise eligible for obtaining permanent permits, were making do with temporary permits. “They were doing so to evade the annual fees,” an official said.