Ganging up by big players during the recent auction of two chemists shops on the Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) has cost the institute dear as the highest bid for one shop has recorded a fall of Rs 20 lakh per month whereas the other went for mere Rs 3 lakh per month despite its tremendous potential to earn profits.
One of these shops situated in the medical emergency block of PGI had fetched a rent of Rs 1.5 lakh per day in the last auction. The same shop fetched nearly half the amount, thanks to big chemists who joined hands to ensure lower bids for the shops on hospital campus.
PGI sources revealed that a high official from the institute was instrumental in bringing together these chemists and offer lower bids for these shops.
It is pertinent to mention here that the PGI had recently floated tenders for the auction of two chemist shops, one at medical emergency and another at Advanced Trauma Centre. The shops fetched rents of Rs 24 lakh and Rs 3 lakh per month. respectively.
Interestingly, chemist shops have fetched at least 50% higher rents as compared to the last bid at the PGI in the past.
Significantly, the institute collects Rs 18 crore each year through license fee from chemist shops on the campus. Now, this new tactic of chemists has put a big question mark on revenue collection by the PGI.
Earlier, the shops at the institute were so sought-after that last time the shop located inside the emergency attracted highest rent bid of Rs 44 lakh per month. Its present term is going to end this month.
Interestingly, at that time, the auction of the shop at a rent of Rs 1.5 lakh daily made headlines as the most expensive commercial space in the country. But this year, the same shop fetched rent of only Rs 24 lakh a month.
According to PGI sources, stakes were much higher for the newly opened shop at Advanced Trauma Centre since there is huge potential for sale of surgical items which have big profit margins. The trauma centre shop was auctioned for mere Rs 3 lakh a month.
Sources revealed that there were around six bidders for these shops, including a prominent chemist from Sector 11, one already running a shop at Nehru Hospital and another who has three chemist shops at PGI. All these persons participated in tendering process allegedly by using proxy firms.
It is not the first time that chemists have resorted to dirty tricks to rake in profits. In the past, they have sought help from politicians as also boycotted auctions to browbeat the PGI administration.
Dr Arvind Rajwanshi, chairman of the estate committee (commercial) of PGI, maintained that he was not aware of the matter.