10 questions the Deputy Chief Minister refuses to answer – The New Indian Express

Express press service

NEW DELHI: This newspaper’s story hit the bull’s eye on Friday with the CBI filing an FIR against Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and raiding his residence to gather more evidence in a case where the Delhi government allegedly “extended unwarranted gains and favors to liquor wholesalers in Delhi…to the detriment of state revenue”.

This newspaper was the first to announce on June 22 that the CBI would look into the Kejriwal new government excise policy 2021-22 which seemed customized to benefit a few big gamers.

When drafting the policy, the government ignored recommendations from its own expert panel led by Ravi Dhawan, which was set up to offer advice on best practice.

After a deep dive into the policy documents, this document sent 10 questions to Sisodia. He didn’t answer any. Instead, a response was sent by the AAP, which dismissed all allegations of wrongdoing and said they were orchestrated by the BJP to defame the Kejriwal government.

Even today, the AAP ecosystem refuses to talk about politics. In place, Kejriwal said the raids were aimed at countering Sisodia’s popularity in the education sector, which earned him a front-page mention from the New York Times.

The AAP machinery tried to put a political spin on the CBI FIR and the raids. While the CBI took its time registering the FIR, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi ordered an investigation by the state vigilance department. The Economic Crimes Wing of the Delhi Police has also launched an investigation.

The vigilance investigation concluded that, prima facie, Sisodia was involved in changing the policy without the approval of the State Cabinet and the LG. The questions that this newspaper sent to Sisodia on June 14 remain at the heart of the controversy.

EXPLAINED | How Delhi’s liquor policy controversy unfolded

Here is their abbreviated version:

  1. The Delhi government is accused of favoring large distribution companies by stipulating conditions such as an annual turnover of Rs 150 crore for the previous three years to bid for the L-1 license. How did you come to this high entry limit of Rs 150 crore?
  2. Is it true that the annual turnover entry limit of Rs 150 cr has resulted in two big companies – Indo Spirit and Brindco Spirits – taking control of around 80% of India’s liquor wholesale business by eliminating small players through predatory pricing?
  3. Was it a conscious decision by the group of ministers in the Delhi government, of which you were a part, to create a monopoly of big business by eliminating small players?
  4. Is it true that Indo Spirit and Brindco Spirits are the only wholesalers in Delhi of the brands offered by Pernod Ricard and Diageo India, and now have full control over sourcing and price negotiation with retailers of alcohol for these brands?
  5. Is it true that the new excise policy provides a fixed profit margin of 12% for wholesalers, regardless of actual sales and retailer profits, resulting in windfall profits for wholesalers?
  6. How would you respond to the allegation that the Delhi government conspired to bestow unjustified gains and favors on Indo Spirit and Brindco Spirits?
  7. Is it true that an excise policy similar to the one implemented in Delhi is being developed for Punjab?
  8. Is it true that a meeting was held at your residence in Delhi on 30.05.2022 attended by Varun Ranjan (Commissioner for Excise and Taxation, Punjab), Kap Sinha (Commissioner for Finance, Taxation, Punjab), Harpal Cheema (Excise Minister, Punjab), Raghav Chadha, Naresh Dubey, Vijay Nair? What was the agenda?
  9. How do you react to accusations that Delhi’s new excise policy will disrupt the liquor trade in the city, destroy small traders and cause long-term losses to the national treasury?
  10. Is it true that nine areas of Delhi have given up their licenses and no longer pay the annual fee, resulting in a loss to the treasury?

NEW DELHI: This newspaper’s story hit the bull’s eye on Friday with the CBI filing an FIR against Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and raiding his residence to gather more evidence in a case where the Delhi government allegedly “extended unwarranted gains and favors to liquor wholesalers in Delhi…to the detriment of state revenue”. This document was the first to announce on June 22 that the CBI would look into the Kejriwal government’s new excise policy 2021-22, which seemed tailored to benefit a few big players. When drafting the policy, the government ignored recommendations from its own expert panel led by Ravi Dhawan, which was set up to offer advice on best practice. After a deep dive into the policy documents, this document sent 10 questions to Sisodia. He didn’t answer any. Instead, a response was sent by the AAP, which dismissed all allegations of wrongdoing and said they were orchestrated by the BJP to defame the Kejriwal government. Even today, the AAP ecosystem refuses to talk about politics. Instead, Kejriwal said the raids were aimed at countering Sisodia’s popularity in the education sector, earning him a front-page mention in The New York Times. The AAP machinery tried to put a political spin on the CBI FIR and the raids. While the CBI took its time registering the FIR, the Lieutenant Governor of Delhi ordered an investigation by the state vigilance department. The Economic Crimes Wing of the Delhi Police has also launched an investigation. The vigilance investigation concluded that, prima facie, Sisodia was involved in changing the policy without the approval of the State Cabinet and the LG. The questions that this newspaper sent to Sisodia on June 14 remain at the heart of the controversy. EXPLAINED | Here is their abbreviated version: The Delhi government is accused of favoring large distribution companies by stipulating conditions such as an annual turnover of Rs 150 crore for the previous three years to bid for the L-1 license. How did you come to this high entry limit of Rs 150 crore? Is it true that the annual turnover entry limit of Rs 150 cr has resulted in two big companies – Indo Spirit and Brindco Spirits – taking control of around 80% of India’s liquor wholesale business by eliminating small players through predatory pricing? Was it a conscious decision by the group of ministers in the Delhi government, of which you were a part, to create a monopoly of big business by eliminating small players? Is it true that Indo Spirit and Brindco Spirits are the only wholesalers in Delhi of the brands offered by Pernod Ricard and Diageo India, and now have full control over sourcing and price negotiation with retailers of alcohol for these brands? Is it true that the new excise policy provides a fixed profit margin of 12% for wholesalers, regardless of actual sales and retailer profits, resulting in windfall profits for wholesalers? How would you respond to the allegation that the Delhi government conspired to bestow unjustified gains and favors on Indo Spirit and Brindco Spirits? Is it true that an excise policy similar to the one implemented in Delhi is being developed for Punjab? Is it true that a meeting was held at your residence in Delhi on 30.05.2022 attended by Varun Ranjan (Commissioner for Excise and Taxation, Punjab), Kap Sinha (Commissioner for Finance, Taxation, Punjab), Harpal Cheema (Minister of Excise, Punjab), Raghav Chadha, Naresh Dubey, Vijay Nair? What was the agenda? How do you react to accusations that Delhi’s new excise policy will disrupt the liquor trade in the city, destroy small traders and cause long-term losses to the national treasury? Is it true that nine areas of Delhi have given up their licenses and no longer pay the annual fee, resulting in a loss to the treasury?