Jamshedpur : The state excise department today auctioned liquor shops in East Singhbhum district. The auction process conducted through lottery took place in the presence of DC Amitabh Kaushal.
In the first phase, 76 liquor outlets were auctioned out of a total of 161 liquor shops in the district. A total of 267 applicants took part on the first day of the auction process for the year 2015-16. The new liquor outlets will get their license to operate from April 1 in city.
Excise department officials revealed that for convenience and better response, all three categories — Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL), country-made liquor and spice liquor — were grouped together.
As many as 267 bidders had responded to the tender floated for allotting retail liquor outlets in the district. Excise officials revealed things were looking up this year. Last year, all liquor shops remained closed for two months as the excise department failed to find prospective bidders.
A total of 48 IMFL, 26 country-made liquor and two composite liquor outlets were auctioned as per state liquor policy of 2009 through lottery. Applicants from urban areas paid Rs 8,000 each while those in rural areas had to submitted Rs 5,000 as application fees for taking part in the auction process.
Sources say that thousands of belt shops are operating in the district, and with the newly elected government directing to take steps to remove the unauthorised shops, the Excise officials have been conducting raids for the past few days.
“Many traders are dependent on belt shops in their areas. There are separate auctions for belt shops in villages, and the liquor shop owners are making good business through them. But, with the government’s decision to crack the whip, the number of belt shops have come down,” said requesting anonymity.