While Bihar is trying to enforce prohibition with harsh measures, the AAP government in Delhi is reportedly trying to ensure the city is dry on fewer days.
The Delhi government has proposed major changes in its excise policy and the biggest of them all is that very soon there might be just three dry days in the capital. Currently, Delhi sees many (around 13-22) dry days every year on account of religious festivals leaving party goers at the mercy of Gurgaon's 24/7 thekas.
It's not just fewer dry days. The government has also proposed lowering the drinking age for foreigners and allowing restaurants to serve alcohol in open spaces, says an Indian Express report.
But while it may make alcohol more available to the people, it's going to make it more expensive. The police also plans to raise the licence fee for pubs and clubs and customers will feel the pinch.
Hosting house parties will also pinch your pockets a bit more because the cost of a permit to serve alcohol at a private party is most likely to increase.
Here are some other proposals by the government through which it intends to boost its revenue:
- To procure alcohol easily and swiftly, the department has proposed that restaurants which get alcohol from wholesale vendors will be allowed to get it from any of the two nearest retail outlets, on payment of 20 per cent extra excise duty.
- Another noteworthy proposal is that now a permission from the mohalla sabha concerned will be required for setting up a liquor shop in any area.
- The government also wants to grant more responsibility to its food and supplies department by giving them the power to grant licences to eateries instead of Delhi Police.
- The restriction on setting up liquor shops near major educational institutes, religious places and hospitals may also be lifted for “restaurants in air-conditioned shopping malls”.
While the fewer dry days are likely to be welcomed by Delhi residents, whether restaurants and their patrons will welcome the higher prices remains to be seen.