Make it big: Restaurants encourage new policy | Delhi News

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New Delhi: As new excise policy takes effect, every restaurant messaging group is abuzz with talks about how easy it is to get a liquor license, permissions to use open areas in restaurants , license fees regulated based on area rather than seating, serving bottled alcohol at the table and running until 3 a.m. and eventually reducing the age of alcohol consumption to 21 .
The National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI) has held several meetings with various authorities regarding industry concerns, and its former president and outgoing president have called the new policy “innovative.” With the new policy including a clause reducing the number of dry days as in Haryana, Punjab and UP, restaurants in the city can serve alcohol after 5 p.m. even on Republic Day and on Republic Day. of independence. The authorization to transfer the liquor license to another company on the same premises and allowing 5-star hotels to serve alcohol every 24 hours was also welcomed.
With the new policy taking effect on Wednesday, NRAI held a virtual session with restaurateurs to brief them on what to expect when migrating to the new excise regime. Beer Café restaurateur Rahul Singh said the new policy would mean more liquor retailers would be spread evenly across the city rather than being lumped into certain pockets. He said the policy had also inspired the opening of high-end liquor stores that would attract more brands to the city.
Singh added that in the absence of a requirement for restaurants to buy from selected people or in a particular quantity, restaurants can now buy from local liquor vendors – even a single bottle if needed rather than in bulk as before. This, he said, would allow smaller establishments to improve their offerings.
Obtaining an excise permit has also become easier and faster. “With its huge population, Delhi has only 516 licensed establishments serving alcohol,” Singh said. “Under the new policy, within a year the city may have more than 2,000.”
Restaurant owners believed that proper implementation of the new policy would lead to bars staying open until late and more people drinking in safe and licensed places. Bar owners also rejoiced that they had nothing to do with a daily license to host outdoor events with a flat annual fee now.
However, many restaurateurs and bar owners have encountered problems obtaining licenses and getting new challans issued online. A lot of other things also remain unclear, like the date from which they can stay open until 3 a.m. They are also not sure if they can get alcohol from anywhere in town or if it has to come from a vendor in their particular area. Additionally, with only 250 new stores out of the 850 newly licensed that initially open, the availability of alcohol would be reduced across the city. A restaurateur also noted that the new tax regime will result in higher prices on the menu.
Khan Market restaurateurs who did not have fire safety certification and some of them were involved in litigation, were unable to obtain new licenses. They hope for clarification on the matter from the authorities as soon as possible.
A lingering concern was about reducing the age of alcohol consumption to 21. The case is pending. Since only provisional licenses are issued at the moment, the latter dependent on site inspections by authorities, most business owners wanted clear deadlines rather than being at the mercy of authorities during the season. festivals.
Sanjeev Goyal of Essex Farms has been in contact with various departments and will brief other restaurateurs on the legalities and developments to help them move easily to the new policy. Singh and Goyal both said disruption is normal during policy changes and said things are moving very quickly. Licenses are quickly issued and nearly 150 brands have already been registered.


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