In a move to facilitate ease of doing business, the Delhi government has merged four separate licenses in the run-up to the implementation of its new excise policy from November 17, with a single licence now needed for serving liquor at independent restaurants in the city.
A notification issued last Thursday by the excise commissioner stated that existing L-17, L- 17 F, L-18 and L-18 F licenses will be combined into an L-17 licence as per a report of Group of Ministers (GoM) report released in March this year.
The L-17 licence is meant for serving Indian liquor in independent restaurants, while L-17 F is for serving foreign liquor. The L-18 and L-18 F licences are meant for serving Indian and foreign liquor, respectively, along with wine, beer and alcopop at Indian restaurants.
"The move will cut down paperwork and facilitate ease of doing business with the multiplicity of licences replaced by a single one," said an excise department officer.
The annual licence fee of L-17 licence will be Rs 5 lakh for independent restaurants with up to 1,000 square feet area, Rs 15 lakh for 1,001 to 2,500 square feet area, and Rs 25 lakh for above 2,500 square feet area, the notification stated.
The L-17 licence may serve any Indian or foreign liquor at any area, including open spaces like balcony or terrace or lower area of the restaurant, with the condition that the liquor serving area will be screened off from public view.
However, for serving liquor at any event or party at an area beyond specified in the licence but within the premises of the licence, a separate P-10 E licence will be required, it said.
The liquor will be served in glasses or full bottle at L-17 restaurants and it will be the sole responsibility of the licensee to ensure no bottle leave the premises. Also, no liquor will be served to underage persons, it said.
Live music, professional performances, bands, DJ, Karaoke, singing and dancing will be allowed in these L-17 restaurants, the notification added.