Thursday, Mar 17, 2005
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By Our Special Correspondent
TIRUPATI. March 15. The delay in holding of dips for the allotment of liquor shop licences under the State Government's new Excise Policy has plunged the prospective owners into a bout of low spirits.
Buoyed over introduction of the dip system in the allotment of shops, many aspirants following in letter and `spirit' the age-old addage, "beg or borrow" have literally done much, and sunk all their money to apply for the licences in different names with the hope that they would atleast get one shop. But, what they did not expect was that the holding of the dips through out the State would be held up in the last minute due to a writ petition questioning the propriety of adopting the system to the detriment of those who were already running the shops.
Applicants in a fix
With the Policy hitting a road-block in the wake of the legal hurdle, they are now in a tizzy because their funds bulk of which is possibly borrowed at high rate of interests in view of the exigency involved in the project, is locked up and is not likely to be refunded till the disposal of the case, and the subsequent conduct of dips. Reports said that, for a mere 512 shops put on the dip list in Chittoor district, as many as 8,600 applications were received. In other words the applications were received in 1 is to 17 ratio.
An applicant has to enclose an individual DD ranging from Rs.3 lakhs to Rs.8 lakhs for each application in addition to a sizeable application fees. The department is said to have earned as much as Rs.4.3 crores towards the application fees alone and this will go to the exchequer as it is non-refundable. This apart, the district Excise Department has reportedly netted a whopping sum of Rs.110 crores as deposits for the shops from the applicants and this would not be refunded to the applicants until the case is disposed of.
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