NEW DELHI: In what is set to come as a relief for the young alcohol lovers is that the Delhi government headed by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is likely to lower the legal age of drinking. While addressing a gathering of restaurateurs at the 33rd annual meeting of the National Restaurant Association of India (NRAI), Delhi tourism minister Kapil Mishra on Wednesday expressed that he is not convinced with the fact that minimum age to consume alcohol in the national capital should be 25. “I feel the drinking age set at 25 years is way too much. It should be reduced,” he said.
Mishra had invited the restaurant and other associations to turn up with proposals about the right drinking age in the capital. “I request you to come up with a good suggestion, we promise to take note of it,” the minister said.
Kpail Mishra who believes that the move is expected to improve tourism in Delhi further added that several laws need to be amended. “We will do our best to mend them and make Delhi a better place, especially for tourists,” he said.
Soon after Kapil Mishra took over the tourism department in the capital he has been focusing on encouraging the tourism here. He is of belief that restaurants industry plays a vital role in promoting in the city which also has an added advantage of having archaeological monuments and heritage locations.
The response from Kapil Mishra came following a request initiated by NRAI President Riyaaz Amlani to review laws regarding the minimum legal age for drinking in Delhi.
Apart from Delhi, Maharashtra, Chandigarh, Punjab, Meghalaya and Haryana will also have the same age limit for drinking.
Mishra also suggested about an idea of running night markets in Delhi. While speaking with NewsX, he said, “Night life should be revived in Delhi. Like Singapore, we should also have night safaris of the city markets. If Chandani Chowk opened their street food markets all night, imagine the crowd that will come there.”
On cutting down the age to 21 from 25 for alcohol consumption in Delhi, he added, “There are other states that have 21 as drinking age so why not Delhi. It would certainly be better than people breaking the law.”
According to the NRAI, the food services industry has escalated appreciably to Rs.247, 680 crore, contributing about seven times more than the hotel sector to India’s GDP.