HC rejects liquor shop e-auction notification

Cuttack: The Orissa High Court on Wednesday rejected the State Government’s notification on e-auction of liquor shops for distribution of licenses amid opposition from the liquor traders who mentioned that the mechanism would lead to speculative bidding and unhealthy competition.
 
Bowing to the stiff resentment from the traders, the State government had withdrawn the notification in March. As many as 30 dealers had moved the HC opposing the notification.
 
Again in May, abiding by an HC directive to maintain status quo on the granting of licenses to Indian Made Foreign Liquor and Country Spirit shops, it had decided to defer introduction of e-auction by two months.
 
Earlier this year, the state cabinet had approved the e-auction system following scathing attack from the Opposition Congress which alleged kickback in non-adoption of the e-auction route for liquor shops.
 
Replacing the seven-year-old lottery system, the government aims to earn Rs 1,800 crore revenue from the excise sector this fiscal. 
 
There are about 1,131 Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and more than 500 country liquor shops in the state.