In a setback to the Punjab government that was hoping for a revenue of Rs 1,026 crore from auction of sand mines, a number of bidders who had bid for these mines at record high prices did not turn up to deposit the amount on Tuesday. The government had received about Rs 200 crore till the filing of this report as the department of mining was still in the process of compiling data on 89 mines auctioned across the state on Saturday.
The bidders had to deposit 50 per cent of the total bid amount and the first instalment till 5 pm on Tuesday. And as was being feared, in most of the mines where each tipper was costing over Rs 1 lakh, the bidders stayed away from depositing the amount. Sources said out of 89 mines, only about 47 were taken.
Indications are that the government would be able to make only about Rs 400 crore in this auction and will have to re-auction the rest of the mines. The government had announced it would cancel the bids for those mines not taken on Tuesday, besides blacklisting the bidders.
As per available data from the districts, Nawanshahar had recorded the heaviest auction of 12 mines at Rs 238.14 crore. Only three mines were taken on Tuesday and the successful bidders deposited only Rs 27.68 crore. The costliest bid was reported from Begowal where each truck would have cost the miner Rs 10 lakh each.
In Ludhiana, the bidders deposited security for 12 out of 16 mines. Four, including Dupana and Rajapur, were not taken, which were again the most expensive ones. The mines were auctioned at Rs 205.93 crore in Ludhiana, of which and only Rs 82.74 crore was deposited on Tuesday. In Amritsar, seven mines were auctioned at Rs 51.48 crore and only Rs 9.64 crore was deposited on Tuesday.
In Pathankot the auction had promised an amount of Rs 42.20 crore and only Rs 9.51 crore was deposited as security. Out of five mines, only three were auctioned and only one witnessed the contractor to deposit the security amount. Sources said the security was deposited in only those mines where the bids corresponded to the reserved price. Those shying away from depositing the security amount will not only invite action by facing blacklisting but the earnest money deposited by them would also be forfeited.