Ex Delhi L-G’s ‘last minute U-turn’ led to losses of thousands of crores: Manish Sisodia

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Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia has accused the former Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal of changing his stance on excise policy at the last minute, alleging that it led to a loss of thousands of crores of rupees to the city government. Manish Sisodia has demanded a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation into the matter.

Anil Baijal was the Delhi L-G when the Arvind Kejriwal government prepared the new excise policy, which was implemented on November 17, 2021.

Manish Sisodia on Saturday tweeted, “Despite reading the Excise Policy 2021-22 several times carefully, giving its suggestions and accepting it, the L-G office changed its decision (on November 15) just two days before the opening of the liquor shops. Due to this, thousands of crores were lost to the Delhi government and thousands of crores were benefitted to a few shops.”

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Manish Sisodia said that 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,” Sisodia said.

However, on November 15 last year, two days before the implementation of the policy, former Delhi L-G Anil Baijal changed his stand and introduced a condition that permission from the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) and the Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) would be needed for opening liquor shops in unauthorised areas, Manish Sisodia alleged.

“As a result of this change of stand by the LG, the shops could not be opened in unauthorised areas, leading to a loss of revenue of thousands of crores to the government. On the other hand, the shops that opened witnessed a huge income,” the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader said.

Manish Sisodia demanded a CBI probe into the matter that caused financial losses to the government.

“Under whose pressure, L-G sahib changed the policy approved by the cabinet and himself, just 48 hours before the opening of the shop? CBI should conduct an inquiry,” Manish Sisodia said.

The Delhi government has now withdrawn the policy and is preparing to run liquor vends under the old excise regime through its undertakings from September 1.

Meanwhile, the current Delhi LG, VK Saxena, has recommended a CBI probe into the alleged violation of rules and procedural lapses in the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22, under which licences were issued to private firms for retail sale of liquor in the city divided into 32 zones.

L-G VK Saxena on Saturday approved the suspension and initiation of major disciplinary proceedings against Arava Gopi Krishna, the former commissioner of the excise department, and Anand Kumar Tiwari, the former commissioner of Delhi, Andaman and Nicobar Islands Civil Service (DANICS).

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Read the full article at: indiatoday.in

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