Punjab Excise and Taxation department allotted liquor vends in these divisions in its third attempt as in the previous two attempts, contractors stayed away from participating in allotment of vends.
After witnessing “low interest” by liquor contractors, Punjab government today managed to allot liquor vends in Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Patiala, Faridkot and Fatehgarh Sahib divisions at Rs 1,729 crore, just 2 per cent more than the reserve price. Punjab Excise and Taxation department allotted liquor vends in these divisions in its third attempt as in the previous two attempts, contractors stayed away from participating in allotment of vends. “We allotted liquor vends at Rs 1,729 crore against the reserve price of Rs 1,701 crore,” an official of Punjab excise and taxation department said.
In Ludhiana division, vends were allotted at Rs 755 crore against reserve price of Rs 735 crore, while in Ferozepur division the liquor shops were allotted at Rs 285 crore against reserve price of Rs 284 crore. In Patiala, Faridkot and Ferozepur, the vends were allotted at Rs 496 crore, 91 crore and 102 crore, respectively, the official said. However, he said there was some issue in allotment of vends in Bathinda which will be sorted out soon. Punjab has already allotted vends through draw of lots at Rs 1,900 crore in other divisions, he said, adding that with today’s allotment, the state will earn revenue of Rs 3,600 crore from liquor business.
After contractors did not show much interest in liquor vends in Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Patiala, Faridkot and Fatehgarh Sahib, the department decided to allow vends through inviting sealed tenders. Official further said liquor vends in Ferozepur and Moga were allotted to Shiv Lal Doda group. Notably, several liquor contractors were earlier not keen to apply for liquor vends, citing heavy losses suffered during last two years from liquor business. In line with its promise of discouraging liquor consumption in poll manifesto, the Punjab government had already announced to brought down the number of liquor vends and slashed the liquor quota in its new excise policy. The number of liquor vends in the state would be reduced to 5,900 from 6,384 at present.