In a move bound to be toasted by the Capital's drinking youth, the government is seeking to bring the drinking age down from 25 to 21.
This move comes in the wake of a notification to allow bars to stay open till 1 am, by sometime next month.
Yet, that's not all. When the draft of the Delhi Excise Bill 2007 currently under scrutiny of Delhi government's Law department, becomes an Act in its current form, the ban on women working in places where liquor is served or sold too will be lifted.
These recommendations are contained in the Delhi Excise Bill 2007. If enacted, these will replace the archaic Punjab Excise Act 1914 as extended to the NCT of Delhi.
The new drinking age as 21 years, came about after much debate. The draft of the Bill prepared by the Excise department was finally approved by Delhi's finance minister AK Walia earlier this month and sent to the Law department. After Law gives its approval, the draft would then go to the cabinet for approval and from there to the lieutenant governor. From the LG's office the Bill would go to the Union home ministry.
After this long-winded process, the Bill, if cleared by all these agencies, would be introduced in the legislative assembly. It will finally be notified if the assembly gives its nod. A very optimistic estimate would have the Bill reaching the assembly earliest by the winter session.
Some of the recommendations of the draft are that that the age of employment of men in establishments where liquor is served and sold be reduced from 25 years to 21 years and the restriction on women being employed in bars is removed.