On the basis of which LG report recommended CBI probe, Know Delhi’s New Excise Policy

outstanding

  • Breach of the rule not to promote the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages
  • CBI consultation is recommended for serious procedural lapses
  • Commercial licenses issued for 849 businesses to bidders

New Delhi:

Delhi government’s new Excise Policy 2021-22 is in the midst of controversies. If the opposition BJP is organizing a meeting, the Lt. Governor has recommended a CBI inquiry to probe the entire matter. Delhi LG VK Saxena on Friday recommended a CBI probe into Delhi’s excise policy 2021-22 for alleged violation of rules and procedural lapses. After this move by LG, the political mercury in Delhi has heated up again. The Delhi government had only implemented its new excise duty policy last year. The report based on the LG said that the Delhi Excise Act and Delhi Excise Rules were violated. The LG found “substantial evidence” of “financial irregularities” at the “top political level”, and the Excise Minister said he “took and executed important decisions contravening legal provisions” and tax policy special notified

On the basis of these allegations, the LG recommended a CBI inquiry.

On the instructions of the Excise Minister, the Excise Department decided to refund Rs 30 crore to the L-1 bidder of the airport zone, even though the bidder could not get the required NOC from the airport authorities. This clearly violated Rule no. 48 (11) (b) of the Delhi Excise Rules 2010 which clearly states that the tenderer shall complete all the formalities for obtaining the license failing which he shall deposit the security deposit. The amount deposited in the form will be deposited in the government account. But in this case, instead of losing the money, the money was returned.

Without receiving approval from the relevant authorities, the Excise Department issued an order on November 8, 2021, changing the formula for calculating duty on foreign liquor and removing the import duty of Rs 50 per case of beer. This decision made the price of foreign liquor and beer cheaper for retail licensees, resulting in a huge loss of revenue for the government. Even after the tender, these decisions were taken to provide undue financial benefits to the licensees.

Instead of taking appropriate action against the licensees who failed to pay the license fee, interest and penalty on time without any solid reason and genuine reasons, the Excise Department relaxed the provisions under the folds

The government waived the license fee of Rs 144.36 crore only in the name of Kovid to benefit the liquor vendors, bypassing the interests of other businessmen in Delhi, while the license fee to the liquor vendors on any basis in the tender documents. there was no provision to give such exemption or compensation. The government suffered a loss of Rs 144.36 crore due to the transfer of this benefit to the licensees in an unreasonable manner.

The government has put a condition on the tender to open at least two liquor stores in each neighborhood without any specific basis or consultation and assessment of the requirements, so that the license holders can benefit even after the tender. Later, the Excise Department also allowed the license holders to open more than two shops in the confirmation zone instead of unconfirmed rooms without getting approval from the relevant authorities and going against the rules.

In violation of the rule not to promote the sale and consumption of liquor, the Delhi government did not take any action against its preferred licensees under Section 9 of the Delhi Excise Act 2009, who openly circulated liquor through social networks, banners and posters. promotion of the sale of. All this was also known to the Department of Issues, but it did not take any action either. This promotion of liquor is also a violation of rule number 26 and 27 of the Delhi Excise Rules, 2010.

In order to directly benefit licensees without any license fee increase, the operating period of L-7-Z and L-1 licenses was first extended from April 1, 2022 to May 31, 2022 and then it was extended from June 1, 2022 to June 31, 2022. . Done till July 2022. For this, no approval was taken from the competent authority i.e. Cabinet and LG.

When did the New Delhi Excise Policy come about?

On 17 November 2021, the Delhi government exited the liquor business and closed 600 of its outlets, to make way for plush and privately owned shops.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government has reintroduced a new liquor system to “eliminate malpractices” and improve people’s experiences while buying liquor. He also introduced a new policy to increase government revenue.

The new Delhi Excise Policy (2021-22), which came into effect in November, has the following criteria:

1. All liquor stores will be private. The City Council will not have any contract.

2. Retail licenses for 849 shops were issued to private bidders.

3. 849 businesses were divided into 32 zones.

4. The new excise policy allowed the opening of shops in markets, malls, streets/shopping areas, local shopping complexes and other places, provided that the standard rules and regulations for opening new shops are followed.

However, the strained relationship between the LG and the AAP government broke down when the LG recommended a CBI inquiry into Delhi’s excise policy 2021-22. This move by Lt Governor Saxena comes after the report submitted by Delhi Chief Secretary Naresh Kumar on this issue. The report has accused Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia of offering unfair benefits to liquor shop licensees in return for a “commission” and using money in the recent Punjab elections.

Officials in the Lieutenant Governor’s office said, “The Excise Department, under the direct orders of Sisodia, on the pretext of the Covid pandemic, has decided to allow the liquor cartels a discount of 144.36 crores of rupees in the tender license fee.”

CM Arvind Kejriwal expressed a sharp reaction

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia reacted strongly to LG Saxena’s decision. “I have known Sisodia for 22 years and I have never seen someone as honest or patriotic as him,” Kejriwal said.

He said, “Sisodia made the life and career of thousands of children by studying in Delhi… Today, the son of a judge and the son of a rickshaw puller sit together and study at the same table. .. I have attended assembly sessions, press conferences, on several occasions. He told everyone that the Center wants to arrest Sisodia. The Center has adopted a new strategy to frame a person. First select a person, try find something wrong with it and when it fails, he builds a fake case and talks about sending the minister to jail.Kejriwal also accused the Center of going after AAP after it won the Assembly elections in Punjab.

Officials in the lieutenant governor’s office claim that the money was used in the Punjab elections

Officials in the Lt Governor’s office stated that “the CBI investigation will unearth the nefarious game being played at the expense of the people of Delhi and the amount of bribes received by the government and AAP politicians as well as the use of this money in Punjab. .” To influence the elections.

He said that there was a financial irregularity at the top political level, in which the minister in-charge of the excise department, Manish Sisodia, took important decisions in violation of the statutory provisions and notified the excise policy, the changes in the rules meant big financial gains. .

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The LG’s office said Sisodia had also given “undue financial favour” to liquor licensees after the tender was awarded, thereby causing huge loss to the exchequer. Officials in the lieutenant governor’s office said Sisodia’s role is under scrutiny for alleged willful and serious procedural irregularities, which provided an undue advantage in the bidding process for liquor licenses for the year 2021- 22.

AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged that there was a conspiracy to implicate Sisodia in the fake case.

AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj alleged that the Lt Governor had recommended a CBI probe at the behest of the BJP-led Center to implicate Sisodia in the fake case and keep the Kejriwal-led party at bay in the next assembly. He’s trying to get everyone involved. ministers in false cases because Prime Minister Narendra Modi is afraid of the growing popularity of AAP and Kejriwal. Bhardwaj said, “It is a matter of great sadness for the country that LG has recommended a CBI probe to implicate the country’s most popular education minister Manish Sisodia in a false case.”





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