India / BJP MP holds liquor bottle package in Parliament, criticises Delhi's excise policy

Zoom News : Dec 08, 2021, 10:57 AM
New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Parvesh Sahib Singh Verma on Monday brandished the packaging of a liquor bottle in Lok Sabha as he hit out at the Delhi government’s new excise policy and accused chief minister Arvind Kejriwal of promoting liquor consumption among youth.

The Delhi government did not respond to requests for comment.

Verma, the BJP’s parliamentarian from West Delhi, said the Delhi government was busy crafting a new excise policy on liquor while the national capital was in the throes of a pandemic.

“Kejriwal has lowered the minimum drinking age to 21. Women are eligible for discounts for consuming alcohol. Today more than 800 new liquor shops have been opened in residential areas, colonies and even in non-conforming zones,” the MP said.

To be sure, while the Delhi Excise Policy 2021-22 does not mention the reduction of the legal drinking age to 21 years, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia announced in March that the government has decided to reduce the age bar in the new policy. A senior excise department official clarified to HT that the legal drinking age in Delhi continues to be 25 years.

With the new excise policy, the state has completely exited the liquor business and has no control on discounts. Stores are free to decide and offer discounts on their own.