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Delhi: Wholesalers may be allowed to set up just one lab for testing liquor

By Livemint
Last year, the excise department had asked all the wholesale licensees to start testing liquor received from manufacturers (HT_PRINT)

According to them, the government is expected to allow a wholesale licensee (L-1) to set up just one lab, instead of a lab at each warehouse owned by the licensee. 

"It was proposed that instead of establishment of lab at each bonded warehouse, each L-1 licensee must have at least one laboratory irrespective of the number of bonded warehouses operated through the licence," read an official document cited by PTI.

This comes after the wholesale licensees represented to the excise department that establishing a laboratory at each bonded warehouse costs around 20-30 lakh, which includes expenses on staff salary and testing material. 

In addition to this, there is also no guarantee that the same entity will be granted an L-1 licence in the next policy year as it is a non-renewable one.

Last year, the excise department had asked all the wholesale licensees to start testing liquor received from manufacturers and upload reports on a portal along with undertaking that there is no spurious alcohol.

However, the provision of setting up a lab could not gather speed as the excise policy came into effect late. 

What does the policy say?

The policy was implemented with opening of retail vends by private operators from 17 November 2021.

It had mandated that each wholesale licensee was required to set up an approved laboratory at its warehouses to check the presence of spurious liquor in each batch of liquor received from the manufacturers.

According to the policy, the wholesalers have to upload a test report for each batch of alcohol received from manufacturers and give an undertaking that the liquor is not spurious.

The policy further stipulated constitution of special teams for sample collection from warehouses, retail vends, hotels, clubs and restaurants across all brands.

Any L-1 licence holder or retail shop owner found in possession of spurious liquor will lose their licence and will be subject to criminal proceedings as prescribed under the law, it stated. 

Other proposed changes 

The Delhi government has recommended that under the new policy, independent restaurants in 5-star hotels will be able to get a new license of “L-16A" which will allow them to serve liquor for 24 hours within a hotel for a license fee of 25 lakhs per annum instead of the current 1 crore per annum fee.

There is a proposed change of excise duty reduction to 30 per bulk litre – which is one litre or three pints – in line with Chandigarh. It is currently 40 per bulk litre in Delhi.

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Dive Deeper:
Delhi proposes to liberalise liquor licence norms
Independent restaurants in 5-star hotels will be able to get a new license of ‘L-16A’ which will allow them to…
Delhiites may soon have mega liquor vends with tasting rooms
NEW DELHI: Delhiites may soon have an altogether different shopping experience in mega liquor vends spread over more than 5000…
Home delivery of liquor may soon be a reality in Delhi: Report
According to the 2021-22 excise policy, every liquor outlet in the city will provide a walk-in experience to its customers…
Toddy is banned in Tamil Nadu, but palm jaggery sustains the lives of palmyrah tappers
Palmyrah provides livelihood for 40,000 men who tap the sap — men who live impoverished lives
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
5 Consumer Staples Stocks to Protect Your Portfolio from Stagflation
Many experts believe that the Federal Reserve’s aggressive monetary policy to control surging inflation could push the economy into a…
Markets turmoil and interest rate rises: the economic challenges facing Australia after the election
Soaring energy costs, stagflation fears and calls for higher wages are just some of the bumps in the road awaiting…
Get all your news in one place