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'Govt suffered huge loss': AAP blames Delhi's Ex L-G Anil Baijal for excise policy graft

Sisodia claimed that the state government lost "thousands of crores of rupees" as a decision was changed 48 hours before shops were to open. He said it should also be probed why Baijal changed his stand that benefited some players and caused financial losses to the government.

Govt suffered huge loss AAP blames Delhi s Ex LG Anil Baijal for excise policy graft gcw
New Delhi, First Published Aug 6, 2022, 4:05 PM IST

The Delhi government on Saturday accused Anil Baijal, the former lieutenant governor of the nation's capital, with corruption under the new excise policy, which was reversed after a CBI investigation into its execution and resulted in a loss to the state government of thousands of crores. Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused former L-G Anil Baijal of altering his position over the opening of booze vending machines in prohibited areas and said that this cost the city government thousands of crores of dollars.

Sisodia criticised the former LG and called for a CBI investigation into his purportedly abrupt change of heart, which the Aam Aadmi Party said was made to help a small group of liquor store owners.

The new Excise Policy of Delhi 2021–22 benefitted certain individuals since it was not permitted to be implemented correctly, he added. Sisodia further said, "Due to change of decision in LG office, few retailers received profit of thousands of crores and government lost thousands of crores." When the Arvind Kejriwal administration created the new excise policy, which went into effect on November 17, 2021, Anil Baijal served as the Delhi LG.

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According to Sisodia, it was agreed that there would be an equal number of liquor stores in every location under the new excise policy, which was enacted in May 2021. He asserted that formerly, certain locations had up to 20 stores, while others had none. According to Sisodia, it should also be looked into why Baijal changed his position in a way that helped some players while costing the government money. Additionally, he continued, it should be investigated to see if the former LG made the choice under duress and whether any BJP leaders were involved.

The decision was made by the LG in light of the "severe errors on the part of the officers concerned" in carrying out the excise policy, according to the statement. These failings included "irregularities in finalising the contract and granting post-tender incentives" to certain vendors. Saxena took the action as a result of an investigation report submitted by the Directorate of Vigilance (DoV).

Also read: Old liquor policy to resume in Delhi from August 1; know its impact on capital

The LG has previously suggested that the CBI conduct an investigation into the suspected rule violations and administrative errors in the execution of the Excise Policy 2021–2022. The regulation was put into effect on November 17, 2021, and private companies received retail licences for 849 liquor vends spread out over the city's 32 zones.

When the Arvind Kejriwal administration created the new excise policy, which went into effect on November 17, 2021, Baijal served as the Delhi LG. The policy has now been abandoned, and as of September 1 the government will operate liquor vending machines through its enterprises under the previous excise system.

(With PTI inputs)

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