Punjab: After zero bids on March 29, liquor vends fetch Rs 1,729 crore in 9 districts | punjab$chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Punjab: After zero bids on March 29, liquor vends fetch Rs 1,729 crore in 9 districts

After hiccups due to ban on sale and serving of liquor within 500 metres of national and state highways, the state excise and taxation department managed to auction the liquor vends in remaining nine districts on Wednesday.

punjab Updated: Apr 06, 2017 09:53 IST
Gurpreet SIngh Nibber
Excise and taxation officials during the auction of liquor vends in Ludhiana on Wednesday.
Excise and taxation officials during the auction of liquor vends in Ludhiana on Wednesday.(Jagtinder Singh Grewal/HT Photo)

After hiccups due to ban on sale and serving of liquor within 500 metres of national and state highways, the state excise and taxation department managed to auction the liquor vends in remaining nine districts on Wednesday. The department fetched Rs 1,729 crore through auction of liquor vends in Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Moga, Muktsar, Sangrur, Barnala, Patiala, Faridkot and Fatehgarh Sahib.

The department had fixed the reserve price at Rs 1,701 crore, which also included the license fee. With this, the department will not run vends on its own as announced last week. But the announcement seems to have worked in department’s favour. The department had also announced not to reduce the reserve prices by more than 5%.

After the Supreme Court order banning vends along the highways, the department relocated about 1,500 liquor vends across the state and reduced the number from 6,389 to 5,837 for the current fiscal.

“The department was firm to running the vends on its own in absence of contractors,” said additional excise and taxation commissioner Gurtej Singh. The contractors had refused to take part in the auction on March 29, demanding 20% cut in the reserve price.

“We put our foot down against reducing the reserve price by more than 5%. And this worked in our favour,” said Singh.

In the auction of vends in Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Tarn Taran, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Nawanshahr, Hoshiarpur, Ropar, Mohali and Mansa districts on March 29, the department fetched ₹1,900 crore. At that time, the liquor vends were sold at the reserve price.

Meanwhile, officials were working on finalising the process for auction of vends in Bathinda district.