Manish Sisodia Liquor Scheme
November 2021: Kejriwal government implemented a new liquor policy in Delhi. – Manish Sisodia Liquor Scheme
July 2022: On July 22, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi recommended a CBI inquiry against Manish Sisodia, alleging violation of the rules in the new liquor policy.
July 2022: On July 30, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia said that the Delhi government has completely abolished the new liquor policy. Liquor will be sold on the old policy from August 1, 2022.
August 2022: On August 19, CBI raided 21 places including the residence of Deputy CM Manish Sisodia in connection with Delhi’s new liquor policy.
Know in this explainer what is the new liquor policy of Delhi. How different is this from the old policy? Also, what are the allegations against Manish Sisodia?
60% of shops were government in Delhi’s old liquor policy
Under the old policy in Delhi, L1 and L10 licenses were given to retail vendors. In this, L1 shops used to run in DDA-approved markets, local shopping centers, convenient shopping centers, district centers, and community centers.
L1 and L10 licenses have been in operation since 2003. L10 Wine Shop licenses were for shopping malls. Every year the vendor pays the fee for license renewal. There was a fixed price for wholesale and VAT was charged on the billing amount.
There were 849 liquor shops in Delhi till the implementation of the new excise policy for liquor on 17 November 2021. Of these, 60% of the shops were government and 40% were private.
Delhi government closed government shops in 2021 under the new policy
The Kejriwal government of Delhi approved the new liquor policy on 17 November. Under this, government liquor shops in Delhi were closed. To implement the new policy, Delhi was divided into 32 zones. There were 27 liquor shops in each zone. The ownership of these shops was given under the license issued to the zone. In each ward, 2 to 3 vendors were allowed to sell liquor.
The government also eased the rules for the license holders. Under this, instead of giving a discount on liquor and selling it on MRP, they were allowed to fix the price themselves. Vendors also benefited from giving discounts. This led to a huge increase in the sale of liquor. However, after the opposition’s protest, the Excise Department withdrew the exemption for some time.
Why did the Delhi government come up with a new liquor policy?
The Deputy CM of Delhi had given some major reasons behind bringing the new liquor policy at that time. First- control of the liquor mafia and secondly increasing the revenue of the government. Apart from this, black marketing was to be abolished and there was equitable distribution of liquor shops.
Deputy CM Sisodia had told that there are 272 wards in Delhi, out of which 79 wards do not have a single liquor shop. There are 45 such, where there are 1 to 2 shops. No of 158 wards i.e. about 58% such places where there are no or fewer shops. There are around 850 shops in Delhi, of which 50% are in 45 wards. With the new policy, there will now be shops in every ward and black marketing of liquor will stop.
What was the benefit of the new liquor policy in Delhi?
After the implementation of the new liquor policy, the revenue of the Kejriwal government increased by 27%. 8900 crores came into the exchequer of the government.
What was wrong with the offer of home delivery of liquor?
On 2 May 2022, a group of ministers of the Delhi government i.e. .GoM recommended the revised policy of the new liquor policy. Under this, there was talk of home delivery of liquor, opening shops till 3 am, and giving unlimited discounts to vendors.
The policy was to be examined by Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar following the recommendation of the Group of Ministers. After receiving a proposal for investigation from the Excise Department, the Chief Secretary found many flaws and irregularities in the New Liquor Policy 2021-22 of Delhi.
After this, the Chief Secretary sent a report to the Excise Department Minister Sisodia on July 8 and sought a reply. The report was also sent to Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor Vinay Kumar Saxena on the same day.
According to media reports, the Chief Secretary then asked the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of Delhi Police to investigate allegations of corruption, factionalism, and monopoly in the liquor business in the new liquor policy.
EOW later this month collected digital video recordings (DVRs) of excise department meetings held over 15 days. It found that a meeting held on July 11-12 lasted till 5 am.
After this, the EOW issued a notice to the Assistant Commissioner of the Delhi Excise Department. They were seeking information about illegally granting liquor licenses to companies violating the terms and conditions of the new liquor policy.
The EOW asked the department to submit the application forms of all the successful applicants who got the liquor license along with other documents which they had to submit. Apart from this, an outline of the process adopted to prevent monopoly and factionalism in the liquor trade was also sought from the Excise Department.
Sisodia was accused of waiving tender fees of 144 crores of liquor contractors
Minister Manish Sisodia Liquor Scheme
According to the report submitted to the Lieutenant Governor and the CM of Delhi, Sisodia changed the liquor policy without the approval of the Lieutenant Governor. Such as waiving off a tender license fee of Rs 144.36 crore in the name of the epidemic. It is alleged that this benefited the liquor contractors. The report alleged that the commission received from it was used by the Aam Aadmi Party in the Punjab Assembly elections.
The report alleged that Sisodia gave undue advantage to the liquor licensees. By revising the prices of foreign liquor and removing the import duty of Rs 50 per case of beer. Foreign liquor and beer retail
That is, it became cheaper in the retail market, causing a loss to the state exchequer.
Officials said that if there is any change in the policy already implemented, then the excise department has to first place it before the cabinet. And send it to the Lieutenant Governor for final approval. Any change made without the approval of the Cabinet and the Lieutenant Governor is illegal. And in violation of the Delhi Excise Rules – 2010 and Transaction of Business Rules – 1993.
It has been said in the report that Manish Sisodia has worked to benefit the liquor mafia. Because of this, a huge loss to the exchequer happened. The report has also questioned the work related to the production, wholesale, and sale of liquor to the same person.
Delhi’s Minister Manish Sisodia Liquor Scheme
After the arrival of this report, Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena recommended a CBI inquiry. This is into the allegations of corruption in the Kejriwal government’s new liquor policy 2021-22. Under this, the CBI raided 21 places including the residence of Deputy CM Manish Sisodia on the morning of July 19. The investigating agency had reached Sisodia’s house only at 8.30 am.
The CBI team also raided the house of Anand Tiwari, who was the Deputy Commissioner of Excise, Arva Gopi Krishna, the then Excise Commissioner, Kuljit Singh, Subhash Ranjan. The CBI has filed an FIR regarding the allegation of a liquor policy scam. According to sources, apart from Sisodia, the names of 4 more people are there. – Manish Sisodia Liquor Scheme