160 liquor shops auctioned in Gurugram east, 568 crore collected

The Haryana government on Tuesday auctioned 160 liquor vends in Gurugram east through e-tenders and earned 568 crore, an increase of 31
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Published on May 25, 2022 12:07 AM IST
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The Haryana government on Tuesday auctioned 160 liquor vends in Gurugram east through e-tenders and earned 568 crore, an increase of 31.51% on the reserve price, said officials of the excise department.

The reserve price is the lowest price at which the department is willing to auction the liquor shop. That’s the minimum price the bid starts from. According to officials, the reserve price was 432 crore.

The bids on Tuesday were finalised in the presence of four deputy excise and taxation commissioners (DETC), and officials of the sales tax and excise departments in the excise office in Sector 34. Officials said the highest bid they received was 35 crore for a shop in Sector 40, while the second-highest was 30 crore for a vend at the Sector 53/54 roundabout. The third-highest was 26.88 crore for a vend at Mehrauli border and another one on Golf Course Road.

VK Beniwal, deputy commissioner of excise and taxation, Gurugram east, said that the auction saw a good response, and with the new excise policy and timings in place, footfall will increase at the stores. “Sales will go up within days of the new owners taking possession of the vends due to the upcoming wedding season. Most stores have been auctioned to the same owners so there won’t be much change. However, this is the first time people will get imported liquor at economical prices,” he said.

The excise areas are divided into east and west Gurugram, with and 40 and 42 zones respectively.

Beniwal said last year there were nearly 287 liquor vends in Gurugram east . This time, the number of vends is higher--they have already auctioned 308 and 20 are still remaining. The number of zones, however, has been reduced this time--from 69 to 40--because the number of vends allowed in each zone increased from two to four.

There were between three and nine bidders in each zone, officials said.

The number of liquor shops will increase after bidding in the remaining five zones in Gurugram east, for which the e-tendering process will be started again by the end of this month.

Sanjiv Mehta, chief financial officer of Lake Forest Wines, who was one of the highest bidders and bought 32 liquor shops in eight zones at Tuesday’s auction, said that the prices of bids went up due to the new excise policy that is in competition to Delhi. “The taxes have been reduced immensely on imported liquor and the east area comprises more of Golf Course Road, Golf Course Extension Road, and upmarket localities where the demand for imported liquor is high. Also, shops can remain open 24/7 after paying an additional fee that will attract more people” he said.

Mehta said that the liquor trade is flourishing again after two years and more brands of at least 27 countries are available in the market.

Officials also said vends in upmarket areas in Gurugram east are frequented more by women as they are considered safe.

On May 6, the Haryana government passed the new excise policy for 2022-23, which stated that liquor vends shall be auctioned through e-tender of retail zones.

The Haryana government on May 18 said it earned 424 crore from the auction of 148 liquor shops in Gurugram west against a reserve price of 370 crore, an increase of 14.5% on the reserve price.

Officials of the excise department said the last auction was held in 2020 and due to Covid-19 all the liquor vends were asked to renew their licenses and those who had been surrendered were re-auctioned. “The department had auctioned 282 liquor vends and earned 743 crore, which was an increase of 6.27% on the reserve price,” they said.

Officials said that the difference between the reserve price and the bidding amount is higher this year. To be sure, the revenue mostly increases when there are new players, and this year, there are many new players due to the new excise policy, which has increased the number of liquor shops and reduced excise duty and VAT, attracting more people to the business.

According to officials, for the first time, new players from other districts have entered and won the auction. There is no cartelisation by the bidders, however, they added.

The e-tendering process started on May 18 and was open to bidders till 4pm Tuesday, said officials.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Leena Dhankhar has worked with Hindustan Times for five years. She has covered crime, traffic and excise. She now reports on civic issues and grievances of residents.

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