After hiccups, Delhi brings back alcohol discounts | Delhi News

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NEW DELHI: You may again think you have money left in your wallet when you go to buy a bottle of your favorite liquor. Until a month ago, you could buy a bottle at discounted rates. But after some public order incidents due to overcrowding in an effort to buy cheaper alcohol, the government halted the promotional program. On Saturday, the Excise Department relaunched rebates, but with a cap of 25%.
Delhi Excise Commissioner Arava Gopi Krishna said the state government had reconsidered and ruled that discounts of up to 25% off the maximum retail price would be allowed. He added, however, that retailers must strictly adhere to Rule 20 of the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010, which defines the maximum amount of alcohol that can be sold to an individual.
“In the general public interest, the government reserves the right to withdraw permitted discounts at any time of the year,” Krishna’s order said.
Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is also in charge of the excise department, told TOI in an interview earlier this week that retailers had had the option of offering small discounts to attract customers but had started to give away free bottles. “The job of government is to regulate consumption and trade. So we stopped the discounts,” Sisodia explained.
After the discounts were halted in February, liquor sellers took to court to challenge the ban on discounted prices. Vinod Giri, chief executive of the Confederation of Indian Liquor Companies, said they had made representations to the government and emphasized consistency in its policies.
“We believe that regulatory policy such as excise should be consistent over the long term, and not subject to quick fixes and falsifications. The new excise policy explicitly and boldly advocates the free market and the permission to freely reduce rates. This was also a material assumption on which the retailers had based their bids. This is why our reservations about stopping rebates,” Giri said. “The decision to reinstate discounts, even up to 25%, is a welcome step.”
Pawan Singh, who runs a liquor store at INA, admitted some vendors were offering free bottles with the purchase of one or two bottles. “Now with the limit, crowds can be regulated,” Singh said.
Opposition parties, however, have accused the Delhi government of succumbing to liquor companies. “It is now established that the alcohol mafia’s earlier plan to buy one get one free had the silent endorsement of the Kejriwal government,” Delhi BJP spokesman Praveen Shankar said. Kapoor. “The ban imposed on promotional programs three weeks ago was only to silence the social outcry, especially from women.” Kapoor said he wrote a letter to CM Arvind Kejriwal to immediately withdraw the alcohol promotional programs.
Delhi Congress leader Anil Kumar said the latest order violated court orders. “The discounts will again create a problem of public order. It also hurts the religious feelings of the people who observe the fast during the Navratra festival,” Kumar said.
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