- In February, the government had prohibited discounts and schemes being offered by liquor stores
- It was prohibited in view of violations of COVID-related guidelines
- Delhi govt is facing flak from BJP, Congress over its decision in regard to discount of liquor MRP
The Delhi government's excise department has allowed private shops to offer up to 25 per cent discount on the maximum retail price (MRP) of liquor. In February, the government had prohibited discounts and schemes being offered by liquor stores in view of violations of COVID-related guidelines and unhealthy market practices.
An order issued by the excise commissioner of Delhi on Friday stated that the government has recommended that rebate or discount up to 25 per cent of the MRP will be allowed on the sale of liquor in jurisdiction of NCT of Delhi with strict compliance of Rule 20 of the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010.
The licensees will strictly abide by terms and conditions of the license and if any violation is noticed, then strict penal action will be taken against them under the Delhi Excise Act and other rules, it said.
"However, in overall public interest, the government reserves the right to withdraw the discount at any time. The government will not be under any obligation whatsoever and it will be non-binding on the government to allow discount on sale of liquor in Delhi," the order added.
Delhi govt faces flak from BJP, Congress
Meanwhile, Opposition BJP and Congress on Saturday slammed the Delhi government for allowing liquor stores to offer up to 25 per cent discount, and demanded withdrawal of the rebate, saying it will cause law and order problems outside the stores.
Delhi Congress president Anil Kumar said that when most people in the national capital were observing Navratra, the Kejriwal government allowed the discount on liquor to "hurt their religious sentiments" and boost profits of liquor vendors.
Allowing the discount on sales of liquor will once again create a law and order situation as it did earlier, Kumar claimed.
Delhi BJP spokesperson Praveen Shankar Kapoor demanded that the city government should withdraw the discount.
In a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Kapoor opposed his government's order allowing up to 25 per cent discount on liquor and demanded its withdrawal, apart from a ban on any kind of promotional schemes to boost liquor sales.
"Such promotional schemes will increase liquor consumption in the society, especially among the youngsters which is not appropriate," he said.
Crowds throng liquor vendors in Delhi
With liquor shops giving discounts and offers like 'buy one, get one free', crowds were seen thronging liquor vends in many parts of the city in February.
Some law and order issues were also reported with police being called in to control mobs.
As a result of liquor stores slashing prices of different brands of alcohol by up to 40 per cent, many people had started purchasing and hoarding large quantities fearing the schemes may be withdrawn after the end of the current financial year in March.
The excise department had withdrawn the discounts and schemes being offered by the licensees citing law and order problems and inconvenience to locals. Some licencees had approached the Delhi High Court against this order.
The intent of the government behind allowing discounts by retailers was to promote consumer choice and healthy competition and determination of price by market forces, the excise department had said defending the move to withdraw discounts.
(With inputs from agencies)
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