Delhi Lieutenant Governor Vinai Kumar Saxena on Friday recommended a CBI investigation into the Delhi government’s Liquor Excise Policy over alleged violation of statutory rules and procedural lapses.
Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia who is also the Minister In-Charge of the Excise department has been accused of extending undue financial favours to the liquor licensees which caused huge financial losses to the exchequer.
Welcoming the probe against the AAP government’s policy, BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said he had recently filed a complaint with the CBI accusing the Delhi government of levying an excise policy that “extended wrongful gains and favour to liquor wholesalers… at the cost of state’s revenue”.
Sirsa sought an investigation against DyCM Sisodia, who led the Group of Ministers that drafted the new excise policy, and some other government officials.
“I welcome the Delhi L-G’s decision to initiate an inquiry into the Delhi excise policy. This policy was tailor-made to benefit a few close to Arvind Kejriwal. He gave 12% profit for wholesalers to loot 6% from it. The policy was amended in violation of the rules. The role of wholesaler, retailer, and manufacturer was carried out by the same individuals in gross violation of the policy because they had given crores in bribes to the government. Everything will be out in the open after the probe,” the BJP leader said in a statement.
Meanwhile, BJP National Spokesperson RP Singh claimed that favours were given to Indospirit Beverages Pvt. Ltd, Indospirit Dist. Pvt. Ltd, Indospirit Mktng Pvt. Ltd, M/s Khao Gali Rest Pvt. Ltd by the state government. “All these companies were controlled by Sameer and Geetika Mahandru and both of them were blacklisted by Excise Dept. in 2019,” he said.
However, the Delhi government has claimed that the policy was implemented to generate optimum revenue and to curb the sale of fake and non-duty-paid liquor.
The Delhi Excise policy 2021-22 came into effect on November 17, 2021, under which retail licenses were given to private bidders for 849 vends across the city divided into 32 zones. The implementation of the policy took away business from the Delhi government’s four corporations which were responsible for nearly half of liquor sales in Delhi.