On Monday, Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia announced that the legal age to consume alcohol in the national capital will now be 21. Earlier the legal age for drinking was 25 years, which is now reduced to 21 years. On Monday, The Delhi Cabinet approved a new excise policy for the sale of liquor in the city. Now the government will not run any liquor shops in the national capital and the decision of shutting all government-run vends and giving them to private players is made by the government. At present, 60 per cent of liquor shops in Delhi are run by the government.
Manish Sisodia informed that the Delhi government is planning to make a standard system based on which spurious and low-quality liquor will not be allowed to be sold in Delhi. He said that the new reforms will be helpful in yielding Rs 1500 crore to Rs 2000 crore more revenue from liquor per annum to the Delhi government.
With this step, Delhi joins the majority of Indian states, which have 21years as the legal drinking age. However, there are some states where the age limit is as low as 18 and a few have it at the upper limit of 25. Also in some states and Union Territories of the country, the consumption of alcohol is prohibited. Bihar, Gujarat, Manipur, Nagaland and Lakshadweep are some states and UTs where consumption of alcohol is not forbidden.
“Government will ensure equitable distribution of liquor shops so that liquor mafia are thrown out of the trade. A revenue growth of 20 per cent is estimated after the reforms in the excise department,” Sisodia added. Apart from lowering the legal drinking age, the government is focusing on introducing the system of “age-gating” in the city. Under which persons under the age of 21 and without “supervision” will not be allowed to enter any restaurant, pub or places that serves liquor.