With an aim to usher in transparency, the UT Excise and Taxation Department is considering e-tendering for the allotment of liquor vends in the city.
The National Informatics Centre (NIC) had recently given a presentation to the senior officials of the department on how e-tendering in allotment of vends would work. With the introduction of e-tendering, all tenders will be floated online and the entire process will be computerised.
UT excise and taxation commissioner Jatinder Yadav said that they were working out the modalities and a final decision in the matter would be taken by January 31. “There are few issues which we need to address before introducing e-tendering,” said Yadav.
Satya Pal, president, Chandigarh Wine Merchants Association, welcomed the step and said that move would bring in transparency in the process of allotment of liquor vends.
Some of the key departments of the Chandigarh Administration— Chandigarh Housing Board and all wings of the engineering department (Civil, Public Health, Electricity and Electrical)— have already adopted e-tendering.
Meanwhile, the excise department has formulated a draft of the excise policy 2016-17. According to sources, the new policy is expected to be similar to the existing policy.
Last year, the administration had reverted back to its 14-year-old policy to sell vends in cluster, which proved to be a success, as all the vends were sold and the administration generated a revenue of Rs 144 crore against the reserve price of Rs 105.33 crore. Sources said that there would be a nominal change in the reserve price.
The Chandigarh Wine Merchants Association has written to the administration urging that rates of various brands be discussed with the wholesalers before announcing the excise policy.
The association has also demanded that the total number of liquor vends be finalised after due consultations with all the stakeholders.
Satya Pal said that the annual quota and licence fee decided by the department should be uniform for each vend and the recovery of licence fee should be proportionate with the lifting of quota.