State defers e-auction of liquor shops by two months

Bhubaneswar: Implementing the directive of Orissa High Court to maintain status quo on the granting of licenses to Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and Country Spirit (CS) shops, the State Cabinet on Thursday decided to defer its plans for e-auction of licenses by two months.
 
“In today's meeting the cabinet decided to continue the earlier practice of allotment of liquor shops to vendors for two months,” chief secretary B K Patnaik told media persons here after attending the meeting.
 
Patnaik added the State Government will take a decision in this regard in a later stage according to further order of the High Court.
 
The Odisha Government’s plan to increase revenue from the excise sector by introducing e-auction which widens scope to enter state-run PSUs like Odisha Tourism Development Corporation (OTDC), Aska Sugar Mills and other co-operative institutions in the liquor trade got derailed after the HC hearing a petition last month ordered it to maintain a status quo on granting licenses to the traders.
 
The HC status quo order had granted extension of two months i.e. June and July to the existing shops.
 
The court issued the order while closing hearing and reserving judgment on petitions by 32 IMFL off shop licencees who challenged the State Excise Policy for 2013-14 and the State Government’s notification for introduction of e-auction for settlement of retail IMFL off shops and country liquor outlets in place of the prevalent renewal policy.