The UT Excise and Taxation Department is in a dilemma over its unauctioned liquor vends with these finding no takers. The vends that were left out after the earlier auctions were scheduled to go under the hammer on Wednesday. However,no contractors showed interest and no bids were received.
This was the sixth time that the liquor vends were put up for auction. In the first auction,a total of 217 vends were put up for auction among which only 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. In several auctions,very high bids were made for the vends,yet these were surrendered soon after.
More than 80 vends were put up for auction on Wednesday. Assistant Excise and Taxation Commissioner Naresh Dubey said since no bids were received,the auction could not be held. He added that the situation would be analysed and a decision would be taken on when to hold the next auction.
The Administration introduced several changes in the Excise Policy for the year 2013-14. Due to the changes,the response to the auctions has not been very positive. Apart from the roadside vends being closed down,the cost of liquor was increased to bring it at par with Punjab and Haryana. Earlier,liquor in Chandigarh was the cheapest.
The contractors now say that already three months of the financial year have passed. They feel if the vends are taken up by them now at the same rates,it would cause losses.
Amidst speculation of cartelisation after vends in some areas received high bids and then were surrendered,the Excise Department further amended the policy.
As per the amendments,the successful bidder would be required to pay Rs 35 lakh as earnest money. The contractors rue that this is