From Rs 10cr, J&K’s earnings from liquor licence auction jumps to Rs 140cr | India News – Times of India


SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir has logged a whopping rise in its earnings from the auction of 228 location-specific permits for liquor vends — from around Rs 10 crores in previous years to Rs 140 crores this time — courtesy its new liquor policy.
“The license fee to be paid by the bidders is at least 15 times more than what the J&K government would have previously got from hundreds of vendors,” an excise department official said. “Around 800 bidders took part in the e-auction process,” he added.
Unlike in the previous years, one bidder, whose domicile should be the J&K, could bid for one location only, as per the policy, the official said.
Incidentally, only four bidders submitted their bids for four locations in Kashmir Valley, “owing to religious as well social barriers”, he added.
Excise officials said the invitation to the auction process received a “huge response”, which indicates the high demand in the local market, as tourism remains battered by the Covid pandemic.
“Two bidders quoted more than Rs 3 crores and four above Rs 2 crores, while 34 participants have pledged to shell out more than a crore in licence fee,” they said. More than 20 existing licensees retained their vends being highest bidders for the locations.
Notably, J&K has previously been earning Rs 1,300 crores annually from liquor licence auctions. The wine business was largely affected in Kashmir Valley with advent of militancy in 1990 when several terror outfits including Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) and outlawed Hizbul Mujahideen (HM) banned the sale and supply of the liquor on religious grounds.

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