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Restos sans permanent excise licence barred from serving liquor at parties

New Delhi: The city restaurants which do not have "permanent excise licence" will now not be able to serve liquor at parties and other functions on their premises. The directive comes as the Delhi Cabinet approved a new excise policy on Tuesday. Earlier, the restaurants and eateries would procure P-10 (temporary licence) to serve liquor for specific events on the request of organisers, resulting in revenue loss to the government. The Delhi Cabinet approved the Excise Policy for 2019-20 in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.

According to the government, farm houses, banquet halls and other places will be registered with the excise department for hosting parties where liquor is to be served. The move is aimed at streamlining the monitoring of authorised consumption of liquor and safeguard the excise revenue. The decision was taken after the government received several complaints about restaurants hosting parties by "misusing" P-10 licence.

An official said to escape permanent excise licence fee, restaurants which are required to get L-17 and other licence with a heavy annual fee, usually serve liquor on P-10 permit after paying nominal fee. "The independent restaurants, which are otherwise eligible for obtaining L-17/L-17F, L-18/L-18F licenses, shall be completely debarred from hosting functions on P-10 permits," the Delhi government said in a statement. It stated that it was observed unlicensed eating houses, which are otherwise eligible for obtaining L-17/L-17F, L-18/L-18F licenses, are misusing this facility by obtaining P-10 permits. "They are reportedly misusing it for selling liquor to customers as well as for hosting parties on their premises," the statement said.

The government said registration would be made mandatory for all unlicensed premises such as farm houses, banquet halls among others, which host P-10 parties/events without payment of any registration fee. "This registration, however, would not be applicable for individuals applying for P-10 for hosting functions at private residential properties, parks or community centres owned and maintained by local municipal bodies/gram sabha/cantonment board etc," the statement stated.

In case any excise violation is found on the premises, the establishment may be debarred for at least three months from applying P-10 permits in the first case, it said, adding that in case of repeat violation, the premises would be debarred for a period of one year.

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