The sale of bar licenses under a new policy crafted by the Andhra Pradesh government has been a boon as net revenue hit a record Rs 600 crore in the last two days alone.
The state government earned Rs 19,500 crore from the sale of alcohol in 2021-22, an increase of over Rs 3,000 crore from the previous year. The government has frozen excise revenue and taken out a loan of Rs 8,300 crore on behalf of social welfare schemes.
This, in addition to the Rs 16,000 crore raised by the AP State Development Corporation by sequestering the income from the additional retail excise tax of the previous year. For the first time, the Excise Department sold bar licenses through electronic auctions after setting a flat price (reserve price) for each outlet, based on location.
Under the previous policy, the government was getting Rs 289.14 crore from the sale of licenses, but now it has risen to Rs 597.35 crore, marking a 106% increase, department sources said. excise duties to PTI.
The new bar licenses came at a time when Jagan Mohan Reddy’s regime went into denial mode over its avowed alcohol policy, saying it “never promised a total ban”. “Our (election) manifesto did not promise a total ban. It only talked about raising rates more strongly,” said Industry Minister Gudivada Amarnath.
However, he was quickly followed on social media, where an alleged clipping from the YSRC manifesto – which he claims is the Bhagavad Gita, Quran and Bible – was posted to remind everyone of the party’s promise to the power to implement the dry regime.
Excise Department officials noted that some cartelization on bids placed slightly above the reserve price has dealt a blow to expected revenues in major cities like Visakhapatnam and Vijayawada. Interestingly, in many cities perceived as ‘small’, offers have soared to unprecedented levels, breaking through the Rs crore mark and earning a premium for the department.
“But for the cartels, the electronic auction could have brought us at least Rs 100 crore more. In many places only single bids were placed while in major cities the cartels ensured that the supply remained just around the upset price,” a top Excise Department official pointed out.
In the city of Kakinada, for example, 18 bids were submitted for 11 bars but at the auction only 11 bids were made.
In Vijayawada, the upset price was Rs 50 lakh per bar, but the maximum bid amount in the city was only Rs 52 lakh.
In Tadigadapa municipality, just outside Vijayawada town, a trader got the bar license for Rs 97 lakh, while the price to pay here was Rs 35 lakh.
In a town like Darsi in Prakasam district, the license offer was Rs 1.47 crore against the shocked price of a mere Rs 15 lakh. The same was true in Markapuram, where stiff competition resulted in a bid of Rs 1.47 crore against the upset price of Rs 35 lakh.
In total, more than 10 bar licenses have been seized for record sums of more than Rs one crore each, mostly in the Rayalaseema area of the state, Excise Department sources said. Of the 840 bar licenses auctioned, 817 were sold in two days. “We will also hold a new auction for the remaining bars,” the sources added.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)