Delhi Deputy CM announces new excise policies and reduces liquor consumption age to 21
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia announces that the legal drinking age in the national capital has been reduced to 21 from 25. Under the new liquor policy; the Delhi government won’t run the alcohol shops, and no new liquor stores will open in Delhi.
As per the new liquor policy, the alcohol shops will be built as per international standards. Store owners will have to ensure that there is no public drinking near or outside the shops.
As per the new standards, the minimum permitted area of alcohol shops in Delhi ought to be 500 square feet. The main entry of these shops should not face the street. This would also help revamp these liquor stores as for ages they have been in a substandard condition.
Most importantly, people under the age of 21 won’t be permitted inside any liquor stores in Delhi.
Delhi’s Deputy CM announced that “In Delhi, 850 alcohol stores are sanctioned by the government. Yet, alcohol mafia-run around 2,000 illicit stores…since the last two years, more than 7 lakh illegal bottles of liquor have been seized, at least 1939 people have been arrested in connection to this,” he added.
On Monday, Both the opposition parties (BJP and Congress) criticized the Delhi Government’s new liquor policy, especially on lowering the age limit and privatization of all the government liquor stores in Delhi.
Congress condemned this new policy by saying that it will convert Delhi into a liquor capital, while BJP expressed that this move will encourage more private alcohol mafia.
According to TOI, the Delhi BJP president Adesh Gupta condemned the new policy and called it a black day in the history of Delhi. He further alleged that the AAP government took this decision for benefitting their own political funding.
Gupta added the lowering liquor consumption age from 25 to 21 may not be legally wrong but morally it is. It appears to be that the AAP government is trying to push the youth of Delhi towards liquor, he added.
Recently, the Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal in a tweet said, Excise policy changes declared today will hit the liquor mafia in Del. The mafia will do their best to block these reforms. AAP govt has been successful in ending the mafia raj in numerous areas like water, education, and health, etc. We are ready to bring a change in this area as well.