Delhi to Lower Legal Drinking Age to 21 from 25: Deputy CM Sisodia
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia also said that no new liquor shops will be opened in the national capital.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday, 22 March, said that the national capital will be lowering the minimum age for consumption of liquor to 21 years, as he announced a new liquor policy for Delhi.
The legal age for consumption of alcohol is currently 25 in Delhi.
He also said that no new liquor shops will be opened in Delhi and added that with the Cabinet having approved the new excise policy, the government would not run any liquor shops in the national capital. At the moment, the government runs 60 percent of the liquor shops in Delhi.
Sisodia noted that no unnamed liquor shop will be allowed to function in Delhi and a lab will be set up to check fake alcohol.
Taking to Twitter, Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal wrote, “Excise reforms announced today will act as a major blow to liquor mafia in Del. (sic)”
Sisodia also announced new rules for liquor shops in the city and said that the Delhi government expected an increase of at least 20 percent in its annual excise revenue.
“There can be an increase of Rs 1,500-2,000 crore in the annual revenue in a year,” Sisodia said on Monday.
Sisodia stated that 2,000 liquor shops run illegally in Delhi. “58% of Delhi is underserved or unserved (in terms of liquor stores). 20% of Delhi is over-served. In 79 wards, there are no liquor stores. In 45 wards, there is only one store. Some areas are underserved and some areas are overserved, due to which liquor mafias thrive,” he said.
He added that, "Government will ensure equitable distribution of liquor shops so that liquor mafia are thrown out of the trade.”
According to The Indian Express, liquor is one of the largest sources of revenue in Delhi, with the government having earned approximately Rs 5,400 crore in 2019-20 from its sale.
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