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2 minutes read

Delhi Bars & Restaurants May Remove High-End Liquor Brands. Here’s Why

| Published on October 18, 2019

Will precious liquor be going down the drain?

The Delhi government’s Department of Excise, Entertainment & Luxury Tax has introduced a new order for capital-based hotels and restaurants which states that any alcohol in the premium range once opened needs to be sold within the period of 8 days or else has to be disposed of.

The order says “After the expiry of the time limit specified, any stock that remains unexhausted shall be deemed to have been consumed and will need to be removed from the bar counter.

The aim of the order is to prevent pilferage and liquor adulteration and only hotels with a four-star rating or higher shall be exempted from the rule.

Many restauranteurs across the city have raised concerns over this newly introduced order as the move is likely to result in at least Rs. 20 lakh worth of spirits going down the drain every month.

“We welcome and understand all efforts of excise aimed at preventing bootlegging and adulteration. However, the current rules suggested will make it very, very difficult for the entire industry while hurting business substantially. These need to be reworked immediately and we are very happy to sit with excise and help as best as we can to put together a plan to prevent bootlegging,” said AD Singh, MD of Olive Bar and Kitchen.

“This is most arbitrary, and we have to destroy half my bar, which currently displays top-shelf liquor that doesn’t sell every single day. By this logic, I’ll need to shut shop within a few months,” said another restaurateur based in the capital city of India.

The order passed has already come into effect starting 1 October and many retro-bars are rethinking their stock orders. In fact, bars and restaurants are likely to remove imported brands from the menu altogether.

Despite the many valid concerns raised by the restaurants and bar owners, the excise department has not decided to not tweak the order in any form.

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