Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Delhi plans to roll over more than 70 lakh unsold liquor bottles to current excise regime

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The Delhi from the government excise duty department comes up with ways to throw away 70 lakh bottles of leftovers liqueur and to sell them under the current excise tax regime, officials said Wednesday.

The stock, which also includes wine and beer, is stored in warehouses because it cannot be sold below the market excise policy 2021-22 which eventually ended on August 31, they said.

“More than 35 lakh bottles of different brands of spirits have been registered under the current excise tax policy. Such brands can be sold through corporate outlets,” said a senior government official.

The remaining stock is from brands that have yet to be registered under the applicable excise policy. “We are investigating how to get rid of this stock of unregistered brands. One option is to register the brands in question and sell them through the drinks vending machines. Another option is to destroy them,” said the officer.

However, officials said the government may allow the sale of the unregistered branded bottles instead of destroying them.

They cited a 2019 example in which the excise department drafted a proposal to request permission to sell liquor bottles seized during raids for 25 percent less than the actual price, after rigorous testing, rather than destroying them.

The 2021-22 excise policy, which came into effect on November 17, 2021, was withdrawn by the Delhi government following the recommendation of a CBI investigation into alleged irregularities in its implementation.

The government then reverted to the excise policy in effect before November 17, 2021 through liquor sales through its four companies: DTTDC, DSIIDC, DSCSC and DCCWS- from September 1 this year.

Officials said 518 liquor sales licenses have been issued to the four companies so far. A total of 406 points of sale have been opened and 400 of these have started placing purchase orders for inventory.

The excise department has also registered nearly 650 brands of spirits.

Officials said the remaining stock could be sold at prices consistent with current excise policies.

Some of the stock consists of unregistered brand beer bottles, which will soon have to be thrown away because they cannot be stored for long without proper refrigeration facilities, the official added.


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