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Delhi to close 600 Govt liquor vends as part of its exit plan

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Delhi to close 600 Govt liquor vends as part of its exit plan
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New Delhi: The Delhi government will formally exit from the liquor business on Tuesday and 600 vends run by it will shut down. Private owners will open shops with walk-in facilities on Wednesday. Business is being completely transferred to private companies.

This will be the first time that all government-run liquor stores are being shut in Delhi.

The new excise policy says that swanky liquor vends will be set up in 32 zones across the city where people can shop as per a system similar to malls. Customers can walk in and choose the brand.

850 private vends are set to take over but not all of them will start functioning on Wednesday. Licenses have been distributed to applicants in all 32 zones. However, only 300-350 stores are likely to open on the first day. There may be a shortage of liquor in the city.

Sources said that provisional licenses have been granted to around 350 shops. Over 200 brands have been registered with 10 wholesale licenses. All 850 liquor vends were handed over to private firms through an open tender under the new excise policy of the Delhi government. About 260 liquor stores run privately were also transferred to new firms. The private liquor vends shut operations on September 30.

The new excise policy is meant to revolutionise the consumer experience by replacing the existing liquor vends with swanky liquor stores spread over at least 500 square feet area with a walk-in facility. The stores will also have air conditioning and CCTV cameras. New stores will not be selling through a grilled window, and customers will not be lining up outside on the road.

The new policy allows five super-premium retail vends with an area of 2,500 square feet. They will also develop a liquor tasting facility.

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