Following several instances of liquor vends being auctioned at high prices and then being surrendered,the UT Administration on Tuesday decided to increase the earnest money to be deposited to Rs 35 lakh from Rs 13 lakh. The change in the Excise Policy 2013 was notified on Tuesday.
The UT Excise Department had been unable to auction some liquor vends,despite four auctions being held. The trend witnessed in the auctions was that with the aim to retain their monopoly in some areas,liquor cartels bid very high for vends in some areas and later surrendered them. The contractors were already operating vends in the same sector.
In order to ensure that the vends in the same sector were not auctioned,the contractors bid high amounts for these and later surrendered after paying Rs 13 lakh as earnest money. One such example was in Sector 22,where three vends were to be auctioned opposite the bus stand. One of these was rented out. The other two have not been occupied till date. The reason being that these were auctioned at very high prices. During the second auction,an amount of Rs 4.25 crore was bid for one of the vends in Sector 22 and Rs 4.21 crore for another against the reserve price of Rs 1.27 crore. These were amongst the highest bids received for any vend in the city. In another auction,these were given out for Rs 2.77 crore. However,within a few days of being auctioned,these were surrendered. This ensured that instead of being divided into three,the business remained confined at one vend.
Deputy Commissioner Mohammad Shayin said that the earnest money had been increased to ensure that only those who are serious about bidding for the vends took part in the auction.
After the change in the earnest money,the fifth auction will be held. In the auction held by the Excise Department in April,of a total of 217 vends up for auction,103 found takers. Thereafter,an auction was held on April 30,where 21 vends were auctioned. In the auction held on May 15,12 vends found takers,while on May 29,only six vends were auctioned.