Liquor vends selling Indian and foreign liquor brands were shut in the city on Monday, leaving customers high and dry, as an order to extend the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 was not issued till late Monday evening.
Even if the policy is extended, alcohol is likely to be in short supply in the city with many private liquor vendors saying they were not interested in running their stores due to the uncertainty over the Delhi government’s excise policy.
A liquor store manager at ITO said they are not planning to open their store even if the government extends the excise policy.
“We were informed today by the owners that they’re not renewing the licence. In this zone, we had 27 shops and all of them are shut now. The owner of our store had one more zonal licence but had surrendered it around two months ago,” he added.
Some bars and pubs in the city did not serve alcohol on Monday, as the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22, which came to an end on July 31, was not extended. However, some bars in Connaught Place said that while there was confusion about the sale of alcohol, they were continuing to serve liquor.
With most private liquor vendors being shut on Monday, people were seen buying liquor from the black market in some areas.
In Meharchand market, near Lodhi Colony, a liquor vend run by Good Spirits was closed. But there were people waiting next to it selling alcohol, which they had stocked over the past couple of days.
“You’ll have to pay about ₹200-250 extra for a bottle,” one of them said.
The manager of a pub in the city said, “We were not serving alcohol today as the excise policy was not extended. We lost at least ₹50,000 worth of business today because of the confusion over the policy. Most people go to pubs to drink, so when there is no alcohol, people don’t eat here also.”