New Delhi: Despite the extension of licence for one month by the AAP government, most of the liquor traders in the national capital are not willing to place bulk orders, leading to an unprecedented liquor crisis in Delhi.

The liquor traders are afraid that if they place orders in bulk, they will be under pressure to clear the inventory anyhow by the end of this month after their licence expires on August 31.

The capital city is not experiencing the liquor crisis for just premium brands, even the non-premium brands are not available at many outlets.

Meanwhile, a total of six zonal licensees have opted out of the extension and surrendered their licences even as private shops reopened on Tuesday after LG V.K. Saxena's approval for one month extension. It has resulted in the closure of 126 stores out of the total 468 that were presently operating in the city.

At present, there are no liquor shops open in areas like Greater Kaliash, Daryaganj, Punjabi Bagh, Chittaranjan Park, Paharganj, Sarita Vihar, Anand Vihar and Shakarpur, among others.

The city was divided into 32 zones for the implementation of the new excise policy by the Delhi government. However, 16 zonal licences have been surrendered out of the 32 zones.

On the contrary, bars and restaurants in the city are serving liquor as usual now.

Talking to IANS, Rahul Singh, trustee, National Restaurant Association of India, said the licence extension has come as a relief as at least they can continue to serve liquor.

"The wholesalers are allowed to supply liquor to the retail vends which in turn supply to us. We had the old regime for many years. So whatever the government decides, we can only follow," said Singh.

However, this dilly-dallying approach with the excise policy has confused the consumers and has also impacted the supply chain management.

"This start-stop-start mode or the short-term extension of a month only disrupts the supply chain. This is causing loss to all the stakeholders, be it the government, the manufacturers, the traders or the consumers," said Vinod Giri, Director General, Confederation of Indian Alcoholic Beverage Companies (CIABC).—IANS

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