Delhi: Despite setbacks, excise reforms promise top for business, better experience for customers | Delhi News

NEW DELHI: Perhaps the new excise policy was the bottom-up overhaul that the restaurant industry needed in Delhi. Not only are restaurateurs hoping the new rules will breathe new life into a business blunted by the Covid-19 pandemic, the alcohol shopping experience in the city itself looks set to change for the better.
When the new excise policy came into effect on November 17, the industry was particularly pleased with the ease of obtaining an excise permit, the permission to use the open areas of restaurants for dining, from serving bottles of alcohol to the table and improved opening hours until 3 a.m., of course, lowering the drinking age to 21.
The individual consumer, of course, also looked forward to busy days, but did not immediately gain from them. In fact, there was a long wait with the new and spacious liquor stores not ready when the policy went into effect. With just a few of the 850 newly licensed stores that opened in the first few days, there were no bottles available in town during the holiday season. In addition, the promised brand line was not available for some time. But there is hope and optimism that happy times are on the horizon.
If properly implemented, the new policy, according to industry experts, could set Delhi the benchmark for nightlife. While the number of dry days has been reduced to equal that of Haryana, Punjab and UP, alcohol can now also be served after 5 p.m. on Republic Day and Republic Day. independence. The transfer of the license to another company on the same premises is now easier and it is allowed to take fresh beer home. The availability of alcohol around the clock in 5-star hotels is another liberal initiative.
Ajit Shah, F&B angel investor and partner of White Panda Hospitality, said he was pleased that the new excise policy gives restaurateurs many reasons to be optimistic about the future. From correcting prices to reduce the difference between fares in Delhi and Gurgaon, to allowing bars to stay open until 3 a.m., they thought they portended good days. “The changes were the need of the hour as Delhi’s excise policy was last revised in 1998. Late night business will do the industry good, especially after the losses. Covid lockdown, ”he said.
The Delhi government faced political resistance from the BJP and Congress, which scoffed at the decision to allow liquor stores in residential areas. In some areas, newly opened stores have been forced to close their shutters, while some cases have also reached the courts. This lack of certainty about what business is insured – exactly what the policy promised to eradicate – has dampened the morale of brands, liquor stores and consumers.
Priyank Sukhija, chief of the Delhi section of the National Restaurant Association of India, said restaurant owners pay high licensing fees in anticipation of the ease of doing business. He said that while the issue of reducing the age is pending, authorities should at least implement the new opening hours of 3 a.m. to allow outlets to take maximum advantage of the holiday season.
“The new excise policy has for once listened to the demands of the industry,” Sukhija added. “Now it needs to be implemented effectively so that it becomes a model for other states. We hope that trademark registration will resume and consumers will get the purchasing options promised to them at the best possible prices.

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