Big decision! Now people in Delhi will be able to consume liqour in bars till 3 am

New Delhi:

To further lighten up the nightlife of the national capital, the Delhi government has taken a policy decision to allow serving of liquor till 3 pm.

A senior government official said, “The government has issued necessary instructions to the excise department and an order is likely to be issued soon as per the excise policy 2021-22.”

“Bars in restaurants are now allowed to operate till 1 pm. If the timings are extended till 3 pm, the excise department will work with other agencies including the police,” he said.

It may be noted that the excise policy, which came into effect from November 2021, had recommended that the operating time of the bar may be brought at par with that of neighboring cities.

Currently, in the NCR cities of Haryana’s Gurgaon and Faridabad, bars are allowed to open till 3 am. However, bars in Noida and Ghaziabad in Uttar Pradesh remain open till 1 am.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Thursday directed the excise department to extend the closing time of restaurants and ensure officials are not harassed if an establishment remains open till 3 am.

There are around 550 independent restaurants in Delhi that serve Indian and foreign liquor after getting an L-17 license from the excise department.

Restaurants in hotels and motels numbering around 150 are already allowed to serve alcohol round the clock. Such restaurants are given L-16 license by the excise department.

National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) president Kabir Suri said the hospitality sector paid a hefty license fee but suffered losses as the timings were not changed as per the excise policy 2021-22.

Welcoming the move, Suri said, “We had approached the Delhi government with a demand that the bar opening hours be extended to 3 pm, as recommended in the policy.”

Excise policy calls for creating a conducive environment and improving conditions for smooth business.

The policy states that several conditions relating to excise duty operations in hotels, clubs and restaurants need to be harmonized with the current business and societal outlook.

In order to fulfill the twin goal of increasing excise revenue and providing conducive environment and conditions to the licensees of Hotel, Club and Restaurant segment, the policy made several recommendations.

The recommendations include rationalization of license fees, lowering the legal drinking age from 25 to 21, and dismantling old rules related to not allowing music in independent restaurants.


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