Bad news for beer lovers in Delhi! India's capital is experiencing a severe beer problem, as the well-known brands disappear from the shelves and are replaced by unidentified bottles. Beer enthusiasts in the nation's capital have trouble finding their favourite brands.
Adding to their disappointment is the unavailability of refrigeration facilities at most government-run liquor shops for those hoping to grab a 'chilled' can, pint or bottle of beer.
Since the intense heat increases demand, there is typically a severe beer shortage in Delhi throughout the summer. This is because there is a limited supply of beer and a high demand.
Usually, the annual sale of beer in Delhi is around 315-320 million cases, out of which about 40 percent gets sold during the peak summer season of April-July, according to an estimate.
Under the current excise regime in Delhi, four undertakings of the Delhi government Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (DSIIDC), Delhi Tourism and Transportation Development Corporation (DTTDC), Delhi State Civil Supplies Corporation (DSCSC) and Delhi Consumers’ Cooperative Wholesale Stores (DCCWS) has 573 liquor shops across the city.
As consumers in different parts of the city raised the issues at the vends, officials concerned refuted the complaints about popular brands missing from the shops but admitted that tenders have been placed by corporations for refrigerators and chillers and they will be available at the shops soon.
Delhi’s New Liquor Policy
The Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 was proposed by the Kejriwal-led AAP govt in November 2021. Under this policy, the government withdrew from the alcohol business and allowed only private operators to run liquor shops.
Delhi was divided into 32 zones inviting firms to bid for a license. 849 retail vendors were issued licenses through an open bidding exercise by the Excise department, which is headed by Deputy CM Manish Sisodia.
On paper, the policy seemed beneficial for customers. These were the policy perks for customers:
Discounts for retail customers
Number of dry days were brought down to three
Drinking age was lowered from 25 to 21
Shops could stay open till 3 am
Provision was made for home delivery of liquor
However, none of these proposals were implemented.
Amid raging controversy, the deputy Chief Minister rolled back the new excise policy on July 31, effectively shutting down 468 private liquor shops and bringing the number of operational shops to just 381.