Won’t run unsold liquor vends, CITCO tells dept : The Tribune India

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Won’t run unsold liquor vends, CITCO tells dept

Quota of 8 unsold units given to existing vendors

Won’t run unsold liquor vends, CITCO tells dept


Tribune News Service

Dushyant Singh Pundir

Chandigarh, June 13

Despite a policy decision, the Chandigarh Industrial and Tourism Development Corporation (CITCO) Limited has declined to operate eight unsold liquor vends.

According to the Excise Policy 2024-25, in case any licensing unit remains unsold even after successive rounds of auctions, it will be offered to CITCO for commercial operations. The policy is effective from April 1, 2024, to March 31, 2025.

The Excise and Taxation Department had conducted 12 rounds of auctions and sold 86, out of a total of 94 liquor vends in the city. After CITCO refused to accept the terms and conditions, the department redistributed the quota of these unsold eight vends among the existing vendors.

An official of CITCO said it was not financially viable for corporation to run the vends when private contractors had failed to do so. Moreover, they received a letter from the Excise Department on May 31, which was too late, he added

Sachit Jaiswal, Advocate, Excise and Taxation, stated that the department had sold liquor vends after a reduction of more than 35% in the licence fee. Even after such a huge reduction in the fee, there were no buyers for these remaining vends, which indicates loopholes in the Excise Policy of 2024-25, he added.

In 2023-24, the department had collected licence fee worth Rs 380 crore even as 18, out of 95 liquor vends, had remained unsold despite 20 rounds of e-auction.

This year, the department has managed to sell 89 vends and collect Rs 421 crore licence fee, which is Rs 41 crore more than the previous year, said the official of the department.

The redistribution of the quota of the remaining liquor vends to the existing vendors has been aimed at mitigating further financial losses and stabilising the department’s revenue collection for the ongoing fiscal year.

At present, CITCO operates various hotels and petrol pumps in the city. The Excise Department wanted to implement a model similar to Delhi, where corporations run most of the liquor vends.

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