AAP on New Liquor Policy: The Delhi government today accused the Lt Governor of corruption in the new excise policy – which has been withdrawn after a CBI probe into its implementation – causing thousands of crores of losses to the state government. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia hit out at the LG while recommending a CBI probe into his alleged sudden change of mind to benefit some liquor shop owners, claimed the Aam Aadmi Party.
AAP on New Liquor Policy
“Due to change of decision in LG office, some shopkeepers got profit of thousands of crores and government lost thousands of crores,” he said, adding that Delhi’s new excise policy 2021-22 benefited some people as it was allowed was not given implemented properly.
Anil Baijal was the Delhi LG when the Arvind Kejriwal government formulated the new excise policy, which was implemented on November 17, 2021.
In the new excise policy that was passed in May 2021, it was decided that every zone would have an equal number of liquor shops, Mr Sisodia said. He claimed that earlier there were 20 shops at one place, while some others had none.
“The new excise policy went to the then LG sir, he read it very carefully. The policy clearly states that the number of shops cannot exceed 849, and the shops should be distributed equally in all areas across Delhi. Will be allotted. There should be shops in unauthorized colonies. LG sahib approved it after reading it thoroughly. lg sahib had approved the policy without any objection,” he claimed.
Mr Sisodia then accused the Lt Governor of changing his stand after the file to open the shops reached him.
The proposal to open shops reached the LG in the first week of November, he said, adding that in November he put a new condition that the approval of the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) would be there. To be taken to open shop in unauthorized colony.
New Excise Policy of Delhi 2021-22
The Deputy Chief Minister claimed that this was not the case earlier, and only approval from the LG was needed.
“It caused loss to the licensees, many suffered because the LG sahib changed the decision. The licensees reached the court as their shops could not open while some shopkeepers benefited a lot at their expense,” he said.
Mr Sisodia claimed that the state government suffered a loss of “thousands of crores” as the decision was changed 48 hours before the shops opened.
He claimed that around 300 to 350 shops could not open as LG changed its stand.
Seeking a CBI inquiry into the change in the verdict, Mr Sisodia questioned whether anyone pressurized the LG. “It should also be probed whether the former Lt Governor took the decision under pressure and whether any Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader had anything to do with it,” he said.
The Excise Policy 2021-22, which was extended twice after March 31 for a period of two months each, will expire on July 31.
The Excise Department is still working on the Excise Policy 2022-23, which, among other things, recommends home delivery of liquor in Delhi. The draft policy is reportedly yet to be sent to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena for his approval.
VK Saxena has recommended a CBI probe into alleged violation of rules and procedural lapses in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22, under which licenses were issued to private firms for retail sale of liquor in the city divided into 32 zones.
News agency PTI quoted sources as saying that the LG today suspended 11 officials, including former Delhi Excise Commissioner Aarav Gopi Krishna, for lapses in implementing the excise policy.