Delhi’s deputy chief minister, Manish Sisodia, announced a lower legal age to drink liquor in the national capital to 21 from 25. He also said that no new liquor shops would be opened in Delhi.
“The legal age to drink in Delhi will now be 21. There will be no government liquor stores in Delhi. No new liquor shops will be opened in the national capital,” Sisodia said at a press conference announcing changes to the national capital’s excise policy.
“The new excise policy was approved by the Cabinet today on basis of the recommendations of the Group of Ministers. At present, 60 per cent liquor shops in Delhi are run by the government,” Sisodia said.
“Government will ensure equitable distribution of liquor shops so that liquor mafia are thrown out of the trade. A revenue growth of 20 per cent is estimated after the reforms in excise department,” he added.
Delhi was one of only six states or union territories that pegged the benchmark at 25. An expert committee set up by the government proposed in December that the legal drinking age be changed to 21.
In other cities such as Mumbai, only hard liquor is barred for under 25, while wine and beer are allowed at 21. In major global cities such as New York and London, the drinking age is 21 and 18, respectively.
This comes after the recent government data, which revealed that the per capita income for a Delhi resident in 2019-20 was ₹3,89,143. This is almost three times the national figure of ₹1,34,432. It implies that the city has the necessary buying capability incase the legal age is decreased. As for the demand side, 58% of Delhi’s population is below 30, and 68% fall under the working-age group.