Excise dept orders sixth auction as 87 liquor vends in city still lying vacant

The fallout of the Excise Policy 2013-14 is being witnessed in the inability of the department to auction liquor vends in the city.

Written by Express News Service | Chandigarh | Published:October 25, 2013 1:16 am

The fallout of the Excise Policy 2013-14 is being witnessed in the inability of the department to auction liquor vends in the city. Even as the department is set to hold the sixth auction for allotment of the vends,with half the financial year having passed,there are expected to be few takers for this.

During the last auction,no contractor had applied to bid for the vends. The contractors had opined that since so many months have already passed since the Excise Policy for the current financial year came into force,bidding for vends could lead to losses. The Excise and Taxation Department has now reduced the reserve price by 30 per cent hoping to attract bidders.

The Excise Department has till now been able to auction 130 of the 217 liquor vends. The auction for the remaining would be held on October 30.

The first auction of the vends that was held in April earned the Excise Department 97.47 crore. The second auction yielded another Rs 19.53 crore. Thereafter,four more auctions were held. For the year 2012-13,the auction had yielded Rs 140 crore.

Closure of 38 vends on the roadside also led to losses for the department.

From May 1 till September 30,the Excise Department earned Rs 22 crore from whiskey and Rs 9.3 crore from beer,wines,etc. Officials claim that the overall revenue collection should not be affected much as the hike in the excise duty,licence and assessment fees would compensate the revenue.

An official said that the auction is being held again to ensure that the monopoly of contractors in some sectors should be broken. The main problem is in Sector 22 where just one of the three vends could be auctioned and is functional.

For the remaining two,high bids were received twice and later the vends were surrendered,forcing the excise department to increase the reserve price.

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