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J&K delays issuing license to liquor vends, Govt and bidders suffer losses worth crores

Last Updated on April 15, 2022 at 6:02 pm

Delay in issuing of liquor license to the H1 (highest) bidders for vends across the Union Territory is resulting in loss worth crores to the bidders as well as the government.

After completion of all formalities after the bidding process, the Excise Department of J&K suddenly had asked the bidders to provide their bank transaction details in a bid to end any formation of cartel. While many bidders have provided the details, others say that there was no mention of the condition in the excise policy and it was introduced later through circulars.

Delay in getting license due to this, bidders have asked for quick solution. Bidders have asked for solving the matter at the earliest as there has been already a delay in commencing the liquor vends which were scheduled to start from April 1. Demand of the bank transaction details have slowed down the process which has resulted in delayed operations.

As per an official statement by the Finance Department, “During the current year, 279 liquor vends were put on e-auction, of which 252 have been cleared for allotment of JKEL-2 licence”.

H1 bidders have been asked to provide details of their bank transactions after the increase in liquor mafia managing to secure a number of retail vend licenses (Type-C) through proxies.

Didar Singh, an H1 bidder told The Tribune that details of bank statements and source of income have been submitted to the Excise Department despite of which delays are happening and has resulted in loss to the government also as vends have not started operations yet.

Another H1 bidder from Samba district said that this delay will indirectly result in coming up of the smugglers to bring liquor from Punjab as less number of vends are operating in Jammu.

A bidder accused that the UT administration was trying to benefit few liquor vend owners who have already been provided with the license to operate their vends.