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Delhi govt orders closure of stores selling beer, wine


New Delhi, Dec 19: The Delhi government has ordered closure of departmental stores selling wine and beer from Friday, official sources said.

Sources told PTI on Thursday that the decision was taken following several violations by departmental stores and it would impact 125 such outlets in Delhi.

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According to rules, these outlets can only use around 10-15 per cent space for selling beer and wine, and rest of the space can be used to sell grocery items, a government official, who did not wish to be named, said.

"During the inspection earlier, it was found that most of these departmental stores were using from 50-80 per cent of space to sell wine and beer, which is a clear violation of excise rules," the official said.

"Also, several other irregularities were found at these outlets." Later, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said: "The Delhi government has decided to close 125 liquor shops (departmental stores) in Delhi. These shops were running under Licence-12. In the recent days, there were several irregularities found at these shops during surprise inspection."

Sisodia, who also holds the portfolio of the excise department, had also made surprise inspections at several departmental stores in the past. The excise department has started issuing orders to all the 125 department stores.

According to a notice issued to one department store, the government has decided to withdraw all L-12/L-12F licences with effect from December 20. The notice said the licensee would be eligible for refund of fee paid in advance after deducting the amount recoverable by the government under Section 16 (2) of the Delhi Excise Act, 2009.

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Asked about the stock of available wine and beer, the official said that according to rules, around 15 days will be given to the owners of these establishments to sell their remaining stock to other licensee holders such as bars and restaurants, but these outlets will have to stop selling beer and wine from Friday.

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