Online auction of arrack, toddy shops evokes poor response

Excise Deputy Commissioner J. Dayalan monitoring the online auction of arrack and toddy shops in the Union Territory on Monday.   | Photo Credit: T. Singaravelou

The online auction for arrack and toddy shops in the Union Territory conducted by the Department of Revenue and Disaster Management, evoked a lukewarm response from the bidders on the first day. The Department of Excise, which controls the sale of Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), arrack and toddy in the Union Territory began the exercise on Monday.

According to an official, the first day of the auction saw contractors bidding for just six arrack shops out of 75 put on the block. The highest bid of ₹18.50 lakh was for an arrack shop in Karuvadikuppam. It was followed by ₹12.96 lakh for an arrack shop in Araiychikuppam and another at Kannikovil near the inter-State border for ₹10.85 lakh. The official added that bids were not received for the 43 toddy shops in Puducherry which were put up for auction.

A re-auction would be held over the next few days on www.calalauction.py.gov.in.

As per the rule, 5% of the base price would be reduced in the next auction to attract bidders. Details of eligible bidders and Earnest Money Deposit would be uploaded on the website.

An official said that increase in the prices of arrack and high base price of the shops deterred contractors from placing their bids on the first day. Most potential bidders have preferred to wait for the prices to drop.

Ease of bidding

According to J. Dayalan, Deputy Commissioner of Excise, “Puducherry is the only State to adopt the Internet auction of arrack and toddy shops. The new system, which is in force since 2001, ensures transparency thereby enabling bidders to register their bid from their residence or from a browsing centre without going over to the department. The department had tied up with Auction India, a business to business e-tendering company, for conducting the bidding process. This year, the software has been developed by the National Informatics Centre and the auction is being conducted on the website of the government. The details of eligible bidders and Earnest Money Deposit (EMD) have been posted on the auction website,” he said.

A separate user ID provided by the bidder would be fed on the website and the participant can enter his bid for any toddy or arrack shop from any place during the time through his password and username.

The identity of the bidder would be kept confidential and the bid amount alone would be displayed, Mr. Dayalan added.

Excise is one of the biggest revenue earners for the Puducherry government and the department has set a target of ₹925 crore this year.

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Printable version | Sep 16, 2021 11:56:58 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/puducherry/online-auction-of-arrack-toddy-shops-evokes-poor-response/article28254844.ece

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