The Delhi Cabinet has given ‘in-principle approval’ for home delivery of liquor in the city and the proposal is now pending before the Lieutenant-Governor, sources told The Hindu.
But there is more time before liquor home delivery actually begins, as it requires an amendment to the Delhi Excise Act, 2009, which needs to be passed by the Delhi Assembly and subsequently approved by the L-G.
The government is yet to make this decision public. According to sources, the ‘in-principle approval’ was given at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on May 5. Though the government announced other decisions taken at the meeting, they did not disclose the approval given to the home delivery of liquor.
Despite multiple requests, a Delhi Government spokesperson did not offer a comment on the development.
The Delhi Government, among other models, is also looking at a similar provision in West Bengal, where liquor is home delivered through private players, sources said.
The BJP has been critical of this move to deliver liquor to homes, claiming although the Chief Minister cannot give free medicine and ration, he is getting liquor served at the doorstep.
The frequent face-offs between the AAP Government and the Centre-appointed L-G may further delay the implementation, sources said.
Delhi Excise (Amendment) Rules, 2021, in a gazette notification on May 31 last year, had allowed home delivery of alcohol through mobile apps and websites. However, it never kickstarted as the rest of the procedure for it remained incomplete. Under the same rule, the Delhi government had announced lowering of legal drinking age to 21 from 25, but it is also yet to be implemented as it requires an amendment to the Delhi Excise Act.
The Delhi Excise Rules, 2010, being followed earlier also allowed home delivery of liquor booked through e-mail or fax, but it was never implemented due to pending clearances, according to officials. “The licensee shall make delivery of liquor at the residences only if order is received through e-mail or by Fax (not on telephone) and no delivery shall be made to any hostel, office, and institution,” the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010 stated.