The state government is planning to introduce online auction of annual liquor shop licence to bring in transparency and increase revenue in the beverage business.
The last auctioning of foreign and country liquor shop licences took place in 2005 and since then the licences are getting renewed every year, undermining the concept of auction process.
During the meeting to formulate modalities of excise shop licences, the state Chief Secretary stressed that e-auction will bring in transparency in the system and more revenue for the state.
The idea to auction the liquor shops was mooted by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who had issued orders to this effect last year. However, the plan was shelved as the authorities apprehended non-participation of interested persons for fear of paying more per licence.
But in a recent meeting, Chief Secretary, Bijay Kumar Patnaik insisted on an open method for settlement of these liquor shops, estimated to be over 1500 in the state.
Odisha government collected Rs 1,380 crore revenue from the excise sector during 2011-12 and aims to take it up to Rs 1700 crore during the current fiscal.
The state excise department has already initiated discussion with the officials of National Informatics Center (NIC), which has developed software for e-auction. The NIC team will soon come out with customised software in this regard.
However in the meeting, it was also decided that before introducing the new system in the entire state, a pilot project will be started in one of the districts. Meanwhile, a detailed training and capacity building process will be taken up in the state, where the officials of the excise department will participate for successful implementation of the system.