New Excise Policy: Manish Sisodia blames former LG Anil Baijal, writes letter to CBI
On Saturday, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia made a big claim in a press conference regarding the new excise policy and told that he has written a letter to the CBI to investigate the change in attitude of former Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal.
The new excise policy was implemented by the Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led government on 17 November 2021, when Baijal was the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi. However, the Delhi government has now withdrawn this policy and is preparing to operate liquor shops under the old excise system through its undertakings from September 1.
Sisodia, who is holding the additional charge of Excise Minister, said that in the new policy there was a proposal not to increase the shop, but to distribute the shop equally throughout Delhi. He said that the new policy was made only with the approval of the (then) Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, in which the government accepted the suggestions of the LG.
Sisodia said, “Under the new excise policy, 849 shops were to be opened all over Delhi including unauthorized areas. The then Lieutenant Governor did not oppose this proposal and approved it. He alleged that on November 15 last year, two days before the policy came into force, the then Lt Governor changed his stand and made a condition that the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) should open liquor shops in unauthorized areas. Permission has to be taken from
The AAP leader said, “Due to the change in the stand of the then Lieutenant Governor, shops could not be opened in unauthorized areas, causing loss of revenue of crores of rupees to the government.” On the other hand, the shops that were opened earned a lot.
Sisodia said it should be investigated why Baijal changed his stand, which benefited some people and caused financial loss to the government. He said that it should also be investigated whether the former governor took this decision under any pressure and whether the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has any connection with it.
Current Lt Governor VK Saxena has recommended a CBI probe into alleged violation of norms and procedural lapses in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22, under which licenses were issued to private companies for retail sale of liquor in 32 zones of the city.