Amid liquor crisis, 11 officers suspended for ‘serious lapse’ in implementation

The liquor shortage in Delhi after the rollback of the much-controversial excise policy 2021-22 is set to worsen, as per experts, and the authorities in the capital have already stepped into action over the blame game for the liquor crisis in Delhi.

In a swift move amid the excise policy rollback, Delhi Lieutenant Governor V K Saxena has suspended 11 officials, including an IAS officer, for “serious lapses” in the implementation of Excise Policy 2021-22 in the capital, as per PTI reports.

Though the Delhi LG has cracked down on several high-level officials, the Aam Aadmi Party seems to have someone else in its crosshairs. The AAP government accused Saxena’s predecessor Anil Baijal of extending “special favours” to a few private players and demanded a CBI inquiry into it.

The LG has taken the decision in view of the “serious lapses on the part of the officers concerned” in the implementation of the excise policy, including “irregularities in finalising the tender and extending post-tender benefits” to select vendors, according to the sources.

An inquiry into the Delhi excise policy by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has also been requested by LG Saxena to know the reason behind the alleged violation of rules and procedural lapses in the implementation of the liquor policy in the capital.

Addressing a press conference at his residence on Saturday, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia alleged that Mr Baijal changed his stand over opening liquor vends in unauthorised areas, which led to a loss of “thousands of crores of rupees” to the city government.

Manish Sisodia, who also heads the excise department and has been under the lens of VK Saxena, said, “Under the new excise policy, 849 shops were to be opened across Delhi, including in unauthorised areas. The LG did not object to the proposal and approved it.”

The AAP government, after much controversy, has decided to withdraw the excise policy from the city and is preparing to run liquor vends under the old excise regime through its undertakings from September 1.

(With PTI inputs)

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