Against 4,831 applications received last year by the excise department, only four applications came in this year giving way to Avinash Doda, Shiv Lal Doda’s brother, to sweep all 23 zones in the district for Rs 755 crore.
The Supreme Court ban on the sale of liquor on state and national highways proved a dampener to the application process. Earlier, the auctions were scheduled for March 27 and were later postponed to March 31 but since no bidder turned up, that was also cancelled.
There are 663 liquor vends in 23 zones of Ludhiana district. The reserve price of all 23 zones was set at `735.5 crore.
On Wednesday, the bids for the allotment of liquor vend licence for 2017-18 opened in the presence of deputy excise and taxation officer JK Jain, additional deputy commissioner (development) Apneet Riyat and others from the excise and taxation department.
There were just three applicants who bid for all 23 zones in the district and only one applicant for an individual zone of Jagraon. Jain said the bids were invited for 23 zones for zones of both individual and entire district.
“As there was only one applicant in the individual category, the bid was cancelled and the bid for entire district was opened. This was bagged by Avinash Doda,” he said.
In the three-pronged fight, DC and Associates submitted a bid of Rs 735.6 crore, RK and Associates raised a bid of Rs 751.5 crore and Avinash Doda called Rs 755 crore.
Bidding process lacklustre
Since there were only three applicants for the entire district and only one for individual, the process remained lacklustre. Officials of the excise department stated that it was probably the SC booze ban due to which contractors were reluctant to take part in the auction.
Bidding instead of draw of lots
Draw of lots was in force till last year. This year, it was decided that the draw of lots will be replaced with the opening of tenders due to low participation from contractors.