Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘Ponty Chadha Rs 10k crore revenue high’ sobers  

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By S Jha

New Delhi, July 31: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s audacious ambition to milk Rs 10,000 crore annually by selling liquors in the national capital has now sobered.

The Aam Admi Party (AAP)-led Delhi government was seeking to ride the Ponty Chadha liquor business model, which drove it to think to earn one-seventh of the total Budget of the national capital from taxes on liquors alone.

While Ponty Chadha is no more, his business model has many of his surviving peers on a high, raising hands for ‘make it large’ brouhaha, in Delhi, Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.

Within months of the Delhi’s fancied excise policy that aimed to earn Rs 10,000 crore annually from taxes on liquor, the businessmen who paid premium fee, in multiples of 10 and more for what they would have normally done, began realizing that they had made the worst of the business decisions.

“Some of us paid as much as Rs 200 crore for availing certain territories as per the new excise policy of the city government, but soon realized that there is too much of crowding, and the Delhi government had unduly been influenced by Ponty Chadha’s business model, with the inflated cost of acquiring the licenses. The shops were not crowded enough, and the businesses began making losses,” said one of the licensee, who has closed multiple liquor shops in the last few months.

Another participant in the Delhi’s now scrapped excise policy claimed that while he expected to make Rs 200 crore from his liquor business in the national capital, the actual revenue didn’t even cross Rs 20 crores.

The Delhi government is already facing the Opposition heat, with demands for probe against the alleged financial irregularities in the allotments of the liquor licenses.

The Opposition BJP is training its gun against one of the key figures from the ranks of the AAP, who micro-managed the Punjab Assembly elections, besides also aiming for the head of the Delhi’s deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia.

Post-Covid pandemic, Delhi had seen sudden mushrooming of the private liquor vends in premises which were vacated by fast-food joints such as McDonald and others, with one swanky outlet even opening on the ‘Fleet Street’ on Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg where India’s top English newspapers’ officers are located, giving scary moments to the women journalists leaving for their homes in the evening.

Delhi’s total Budget is roughly about Rs 75000 crore, and the size has tripled in the last 15 years.

Even earlier, the excise policy had been Delhi’s cash cow, as is the case with most of the States, which lack in manufacturing bases.

The Kejriwal government in Delhi wanted to drain its excise cash cow to fund the populist policies. Now, it faces to face the reality of the day.


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