Distributive policy

Delhi excise policy: Sisodia asks CBI to investigate why ex-LG changed ruling on shops in unauthorized settlements

A week after the The Delhi government has announced its decision to drop its new alcohol policyDeputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said he had written to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) asking for an investigation into what he said was a sudden change in the decision of former Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal to open shops in unauthorized settlements.

The change in LG’s ruling on stores in unauthorized settlements has caused “thousands of crores in losses” to the Delhi government, Sisodia told a press conference on Saturday.

Sisodia had announced on July 30 that the new excise policy would be rescinded. This came after current LG Vinai Kumar Saxena recommended a CBI investigation into the new excise policy over alleged irregularities, and the Economic Crimes Wing of the Delhi Police launched an investigation into the department. excise.

“In May 2021, the Cabinet adopted the new excise policy. We said the number of liquor stores would stay the same. But in the earlier policy, the stores were unevenly distributed. Some neighborhoods had 25 stores, others had none. Some malls had many stores. In the new policy, this principle has been emphasized that there will be an equitable distribution of stores, but the number of stores will not change. It was an important provision of the policy,” Sisodia said.

The policy was then sent to LG for approval and he made significant suggestions for changes, Sisodia explained. “All of LG’s suggestions were accepted and the new policy was sent to LG in June. He read it carefully and then it was adopted. The policy says that inequitable distribution will be stopped. In each neighborhood there will be two to three stores, including in unauthorized areas,” Sisodia said.

But the LG office later changed its decision, Sisodia said. “LG read the policy and then approved it. After its approval, calls for tenders were launched. But when it came to opening the stores, the LG changed its position. In the first week of November, the proposal to open stores was sent to LG, since stores were to be open from November 17, including in unauthorized areas. On November 15, the LG set a new condition that to open shops in unauthorized areas, permission from DDA (Delhi Development Authority) and MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) is required. When he read the policy, that condition was not there,” he said.

“Why was this decision changed 48 hours ago? Which traders made profits? Did LG make the decision itself or under pressure from someone? I wrote to the CBI asking for an investigation,” Sisodia said. “The real corruption was there… where the decision was changed,” he added.

Sisodia said every year stores were opened in unauthorized areas even before the new policy took effect. “Each year, these files were approved. This was approved even when the policy mentioned it. But when he went to LG office as a file to open stores, LG office changed stalls,” he said.

“Because of this change of position, shops could not open in the unlicensed settlements. The new licensees went to court, and the court ordered that in the unlicensed neighborhoods the license fee be relaxed on a pro rata basis and that they get a discount.Because of this, the government faced thousands of millions in losses.Without discussing it with the Cabinet or the government, the LG changed its decision.The news excise policy would have brought revenue to the government, but instead caused losses because of this change in position of LG,” he said.

“The most important thing here is that some stores were allowed to open and some were not. Those who were allowed to open stores made a profit. This was a deliberate attempt to ensure that some sellers are making a profit and some are making a loss,” Sisodia added.