After being able to auction only 47 per cent of liquor vends in the first phase,the UT Excise Department received a poor response the second time as well.
For the second round of auction which is to be held on Tuesday,the department has received bids for only 21 vends out of 123 vends which are to be auctioned. These 123 vends are those for which there were no takers in the first round.
Monday was the last date to apply for these remaining liquor vends. The UT Administration has a total of 217 liquor vends,out of which 38 are on roadside and they will be removed after Tuesday after the new excise policy comes into effect from May 1.
The bid quoted for the vends will decide the outcome, said officials. The picture will become more clear after Tuesdays auction and if some vends still remain,the department will also hold another round of auction.
In the first round held on April 24,though 152 IMFL vends and 65 country-made liquor vends were offered for allotment,the department had received 125 applications for 80 IMFL vends and 34 applications for 23 country-made liquor vends.
In the last policy,the department could allot 123 IMFL and 23 country-made liquor vends.
Attributing the poor response to substantial increase in the excise duty and other taxes,sources in the trade said the whopping cost of the vends might affect the trade.
The department has increased the excise duty from 20 per cent to 300 per cent and the assessment fee by 33 per cent. As a result,cheap brands will cost less.
The department is in the red for incurring projected loss of over Rs 75 crore due to closure of around 27 vends on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court.
The officials apprehend that the projected revenue can be less as compared to last years projected revenue of Rs 270 crore.