Opposition demands e-auction for liquor shop licenses

Bhubaneswar:  Opposition chief whip Prasad Harichandan on Monday alleged that the introduction of online auction for liquor shop licenses has been thwarted by the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) at the instance of the liquor lobby.

“There is definitely a major kickback in the whole process for which the ruling party is not coming up with the system which is of course the most transparent process,” Harichandan said in the Assembly.

The Congress leader demanding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s statement on the issue alleged that the process has been shelved at CMO’s behest.

He alleged that the state government for last six years had been extending tenure of licence of liquor in different shops without conducting open tender.

Leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh also demanded a statement from the Chief Minister on the matter.

According officials, the last auctioning of foreign and country liquor shop licences took place in 2005 and since then the licences are getting renewed every year.

During 2011-12, the state government collected Rs 1,380 crore revenue from the excise sector which was less than Rs 900 crore by December 2012 against the target of Rs 1800 crore in 2012-13 fiscal.