Like last year, the UT Administration failed to find takers for a large number of liquor vends in the auction held on Monday but, nevertheless, it earned a revenue of Rs 92.32 crore, which was 16.48 per cent more than last year.
Of the total 173 vends on offer, only 119 found takers. Last year, only 93 of the 217 vends had found buyers in the first auction. Subsequently, four more auctions were held.
As many as 123 vends were of Indian Made Foreign Liquor, comprising 99 ordinary vends and the remaining modern liquor shops. Besides, there were 50 country liquor vends. These were offered for the period from June 1 to March 31 next year, which is covered by the excise policy for 2014-15.
The UT Excise and Taxation Department had called bids which were opened at the auditorium of the Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32. Bids were received for 76 ordinary vends, 15 modern liquor shops and 28 country liquor vends.
The highest bid was received for a liquor vend at the Sector 42 market. It went for Rs 2.61 crore against a reserve price of Rs 1.44 crore. Last year, the highest bid was Rs 2.25 crore for a vend in Sector 22. However, the successful bidder had later surrendered the vend.
As many as 24 vends fetched more than Rs 1 crore, and these included two vends at the internal market in Sector 8 which went for Rs 1 crore each. Another vend at Khuda Lahora/Khuda Jassu was auctioned for Rs 1.21 crore. A vend at the Sector 15 market fetched Rs 1.31 crore. Two vends at the Sector 30 market were auctioned for Rs 1.11 crore each and would have a common owner. A vend at Sector 35 market on the Himalaya Marg was auctioned for Rs 1.31 crore while another at the internal market in the same sector fetched Rs 1.12 crore.
Several vends in sectors 17, 22, 35, 41, 44, Industrial Area and Manimajra did not find takers.
Among the country liquor vends, the high grosser was a vend at Khuda Lahora/Khuda Jassu that fetched Rs 91 lakh against a reserve price of Rs 72.29 lakh. Another vend in Industrial Area Phase-I fetched Rs 71.61 lakh.
As the bids were opened, the amounts quoted by the contractors left officials amused. A contractor who got a vend in Sector 8 and another in Sector 9 had made bids of Rs 1,00,00,001 each.
Another contractor made a bid of Rs 1,31,31,313 for a vend in Sector 10. A vend in Sector 35 was also auctioned for the same amount.
A contractor got two vends in Sector 37 market and for both he had offered Rs 88,88,888. Following a similar pattern, a vend in village Attawa was auctioned for Rs 1,11,11,111.
For a majority of the vends, single bids were received. Multiple bids were mostly for country liquor vends and a few of these were auctioned for just a little above the reserve price.
The number of vends was reduced by the administration after the poor results of the auction in 2013-14. Also, several changes were made in the excise policy to break the monopoly of the liquor contractors. In case a contractor surrenders a vend after making a successful bid, then the vend would be handed over to the second highest bidder.