Arrack shops bordering major towns in the neighbouring districts of Tamil Nadu have been auctioned out for very a high rates via an online auction that concluded on Monday. Most shops have been auctioned off for at least double the rates, while some shops have seen three to four fold increase.
The high bid for the shops has been triggered by a good demand from consumers of the bordering villages in Cuddalore and Villupuram, Nagapattinam and Thiruvarur districts of Tamil Nadu, sources said. The demand has been created due to the curtailing of arrack sale in Tamil Nadu. As there is no availability of illicit arrack either, tipplers have now switched to consuming IMFL products marketed by the TASMAC wine shops.
However, the lower price of arrack is making the people turn towards the border shops in Puducherry. Arrack is sold at `20 for 180 ml, while a bottle (180ml) of cheap IMFL (brandy being the preference) costs around `65 to `70 in TN and `35 to `40 in Puducherry.
Even those consumers who used to come to Puducherry for cheap IMFL (once again, generally brandy) which used to cost around `25 to `30 are now opting for arrack after the Puducherry government revised the excise duty and additional excise duty, six months ago.
The highest bidding has been seen for arrack shop in Kumuthanmedu in Bahour Commune bordering Cuddalore district (Cuddalore and Nellikuppam), where there has been 300 per cent hike. The shop which went for `8,41,218 last year has been taken for `20.25 lakh.
Similarly a shop in Karayamputhur (notorious for its illegal arrack brewing) in the same Commune has gone for `17.11 lakh as compared to `5,46,840 in the previous year. So also the Manamedu shop which has gone for `11.65 lakh as compared to `5,57,314 last year.
A new shop at Sooriankuppam in the same Commune has gone at `17.56 lakh as compared to the upset price of `10 lakh. The Thirukanur arrack shop in Mannadipet has gone for `14.62 lakh as compared to `10.52 lakh in the previous year. The scenario is no different in Karaikal. The Poovam shop at its entry point (bordering Tamil Nadu) has gone for `18.35 lakh compared to `9.73 lakh last year.