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E-auction of wine shops draws bids worth 510 cr for Rajasthan shop

Additional commissioner, excise policy, CR Dewasi, told that the e-auction for the wine shops started three days ago whereby.
Police are on the illicit liquor trail since last July’s hooch tragedy that left more than 130 people dead in the border districts of Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Gurdaspur. (HT file photo)
Updated on Mar 07, 2021 10:21 PM IST

By Aabshar H Quazi

E-auction of wine shops in Rajasthan is not only witnessing an average of over 30 per cent higher bidding than the base price but also unexpected bidding of 510 crores for a wine shop carrying the base price of 70.70 lakhs.

The base price of a wine shop in Hanumangarh district's Nohar was 72.70 lakh and it was sold for 65 lakh in a lottery last year but the e-auction for the first time in the state has changed the fortunes of this wine shop which has received the highest bid of 510 crores.

When asked, additional commissioner, excise policy, CR Dewasi, told that the e-auction for the wine shops started three days ago whereby one Kiran Kanwar of Nohar got the wine shop in 510 crore bid which is nearly 708 times more than the base price.

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We have sent demand notice to the bidder who has to deposit two per cent of the bidding amount within three days otherwise his allotment will be cancelled, he said.

"If the bid winner does not deposit the money then the security deposit of over 1 lakh will be forfeited," he said.

This is not the case of Nohar only as one wine shop in Churu district was sold in a bid of 11 crores whereas another shop in Jaipur's Sanganer was sold in an e-auction for 8.91 crores.

Similarly, three wine shops in Sujangarh region of Churu district were sold for 10 crores in an e-auction while anoter was sold for 11.60 crores. Two shops in Hanumangarh district were also sold for 11 crores each, although the base price of most of these shops was between 1-2 crores only, said Dewasi.

“E-auction of the wine shops is the reason behind high bidding for wine shops,” he said.

On being asked about the average bid in the e-auction, CR Dewasi said, "The average bid is around 30 per cent higher than the base price. The base price has been calculated by adding 10 per cent in previous year's reserve price".

He said that the department got revenue of 700-800 crores on the set reserve price and later earned revenue of 10,500 crores in the last financial year, even when the liquor shops remain closed for a month due to Covid-19. He said now they are expecting 13,000 crores revenue.

"Out of the 7,665 wine shops in the state, e-auction of 3,572 wine shops have been done in the first phase which will continue till March 10," he said.

However, some wine traders are citing competition for the high bidding for getting wine shops.

As per the new excise policy of the government of Rajasthan, now liquor shop allotment will be done through e-auction instead of the earlier system of a lottery.

Earlier, there was a minimum reserve price in the liquor shop allotment in the lottery system whereby the government used to get fixed reserve price of the shops.

The aspirants will have to deposit non-refundable application fees between 40,000 to 2 lakh depending on the reserve price of liquor shops which is between 50 lakh to 2 crores.

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