In an attempt to make more money out of the blue, the Delhi government on Monday brought down the legal age to drink in the Capital from 25 to 21. The decision was announced by the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia.
Mr Sisodia added that the Delhi government will not operate liquor shops in Delhi and no new shops in the Capital will be opened.
“The new excise policy was approved by the Cabinet today on the basis of the recommendations of the Group of Ministers. It was decided that no new liquor shops will be opened in the national capital and the government will not run any liquor shops. At present, 60 per cent liquor shops in Delhi are run by the government,” Mr Sisodia said at a press conference.
Defending the move to lower the legal drinking age, Mr Sisodia said that the move is to curb the role of the liquor mafia in the city.
“In Delhi, 850 liquor stores are authorised by the government. But liquor mafia run 2,000 illegal stores…in the last two years, more than 7 lakh illegal liquor bottles have been seized, 1939 people arrested,” he said.
“Government will ensure equitable distribution of liquor shops so that liquor mafia are thrown out of the trade. A revenue growth of 20 per cent is estimated after the reforms in the excise department,” he added.
The new rules mandate the minimum permissible area for a liquor store at 500 square-foot. Also, the main gate of the shop must not face the road. A Store owner will be held in case if public drinking takes place near their shops.
People below the age of 21 will not be allowed inside liquor stores.