Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 30:
The Odisha cabinet on Wednesday deferred the e-auction of liquor shop licences for Indian Made Foreign Liquor (IMFL) and Country Spirit (CS) till the end of current financial year in March, 2015.
The cabinet meeting, presided over by chief minister Naveen Patnaik, decided that existing licence holders would be allowed to sell liquortill the introduction of the e-auction process, official sources said.
It is to be noted that the proposal of the state government for introduction of e-auction process was struck down by the Odisha High Court in July last year.
The state had moved the Supreme Court, which asked the state government to make certain changes in the notification and to comply with certain queries of the apex court by July 31.
“Since the state government needs more time to comply with the apex court, the cabinet has decided to defer its decision of going for the e-auction process,” a senior excise department official said.
As per the guidelines of e-auction process, in case some IMFL shop licences remain unsettled through e-auction, the state government agencies and co-operative organisations will be allowed to run the shops after paying the licence fee fixed by the government.
The cabinet also decided to create six new posts in the state-owned Odisha State Beverage Corporation (OSBC), which registers business worth an average of Rs 3000 crore annually, on outsourcing basis. The sis new posts would be chief operating officer (COO), general manager (accounts), systems manager, assistant manager, supply chain manager and accountant.
The cabinet resolved to amend clause-16 of Orissa Civil Court Act, 1984 in order to enable district courts to take up cases involving money up to Rs 10 lakh. Earlier, the district courts were empowered to take up cases up to Rs 5 lakh only. Cases involving more than Rs 10 lakh would be adjudicated in the High Court.
The cabinet also gave its nod to reduce the forest development tax on kendu leaf from 16% to 2%. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik had announced the decision in January this year.