Dushyant Singh Pundir
Chandigarh, March 27
After getting a poor response to its third auction in a row of the remaining liquor vends, the UT Administration is considering reducing the reserve prices of the leftover 36 vends by 6-10%.
During an auction held here today for the remaining 41 liquor vends, the Excise and Taxation Department was able to sell only five liquor vends located at Maloya Colony, Sector 24, 34 and 40 and Mani Majra despite reducing the reserve prices by 3-5%.
Unable to sell its liquor vends, the UT Administration was planning to reduce the reserve price of the remaining 36 vends by 6-10% for the next auction scheduled for March 31, said an official. In the first auction held on March 15 for the allotment of liquor vends under the Excise Policy 2023-24, the department was able to auction 43 vends of a total of 95. Similarly, in the second auction held on March 21, the department was able to auction only 11 liquor vends.
To attract buyers to the remaining 41 liquor vends, the department had reduced the reserve price by 3-5%, but drew a poor response due to the Punjab Excise Renewal Policy, added the official.
A liquor contractor said a reduction in reserve prices would not make much impact unless and until the department reduced excise duty and VAT.
The auction held on March 15 fetched Rs 221.59 crore against the reserve price of Rs 202.35 crore. The highest bid of Rs 11.65 crore was for the liquor vend at Palsora village against a reserve price of Rs 9.60 crore.
In the March 21 auction, the department collected Rs 54.85 crore against the reserve price of Rs 51.27 crore. The highest bid of Rs 7,56,90,000 was received for the Khuda Lahora liquor vend, only Rs 5,000 more than the reserve price.
For 2023-24, the department has fixed a target of Rs 830 crore from the auction of liquor vends in the form of licence fee.
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