Sand mining auction fiasco: Punjab govt sticks to policy, re-auction next week
Sources revealed that Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh was closely monitoring the auction process. Two days ago, the issue was discussed threadbare and it was decided to stick to the policy, they added.punjab Updated: May 25, 2017 10:27 IST
After having failed to net the entire committed amount of Rs 1,026 crore in the auction of sand quarries in the state last week, as bidders backed out of 48 mine sites out of total 89 auctioned, the government on Wednesday announced that there was no change in the policy, and re-auction would take place next week.
“We would order forfeiture of the Rs 35 crore that was deposited as upfront money from 48 mines, and then order a re-auction,” said a top functionary of the state government.
Sources revealed that Punjab chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh was closely monitoring the auction process. Two days ago, the issue was discussed threadbare and it was decided to stick to the policy, they added.
Before re-auction, the state government would also blacklist the companies which backed out of the bidding.
The government came out with a new policy of progressive bidding against the policy of reverse bidding of the SAD-BJP government.
The government received the bid money for 41 mines that would generate Rs 310-crore revenue for the government, which is less than one-third of the total committed bid amount.
“Here is our success. We broke the cartel. All the fictitious bidders have backed out and it proves that our government has managed to break the cartel prevailing under the previous Akali-BJP regime,” an official said while talking to HT.
He was hopeful that the mining policy of progressive bidding adopted by the present government would be successful. Sources revealed that those who have backed out are actually the bidders who went overboard as an attempt to outwit competitors, giving bids up to 40 times higher than the reserve price.
Most of the bids were overpriced, which led to a scare in the market that a truck full of sand from some of the quarries would cost lakhs of rupees.
Official say the scare was ill-founded because the new system takes time to be implemented smoothly.