N. Rahul

Auction notification invites huge response

State highest consumer of IMFL and beer in country

HYDERABAD: The State government has mopped up a whopping Rs. 1,600 crore from the recent auction of liquor shops.

A senior official told The Hindu that the revenue earned was 87 per cent in excess of what was received from tendering two years ago. A total of 6,436 shops were auctioned for a two-year lease period commencing July 1. A decision in respect of another 160 shops was pending in court. They could not be auctioned for various local reasons, he added.

The government had notified, for auction, 6,596 shops last month by fixing an upset price which was 15 per cent in excess of the price quoted for individual shops at the tendering two years ago. The notification which invited a huge response from bidders saw one of the shops at Madhapur near HITEC City here being auctioned for a massive Rs. 2.07 crore.

Syndicates

This was the highest price quoted in the bidding State-wide. High budgeted bids and syndicates of bidders were also reported elsewhere. Unlike in the past, the Maoists did not hinder the tender process anywhere.

Senior excise officials were puzzled how the shop owners would recover their licence fee in two years. Instances of government staff, including those belonging to the Excise Department, investing in the shops have also come to their notice.

Notwithstanding apprehensions in certain quarters over recovery of the licence fee by shop owners, the AP Beverages Corporation Limited has reported a huge turnover of IMFL and beer in recent months. The off take from the 34 depots of the corporation in all districts suggested that the State was the highest consumer of IMFL and beer in the entire country.

The daily turnover of the corporation on Wednesday was Rs. 42.29 crore. Ranga Reddy district topped the list in the State with an off take of liquor worth Rs. 5.06 crore. Hyderabad stood second with Rs. 3.93 crore.