Excise dept to overhaul cashew zone auctioning


 Surprised by the poor response it has been receiving in the auctioning of cashew zones during the past few years, the excise department wants to overhaul the entire process of auctioning.
The excise department has discovered that response for the first round of auctioning of cashew zones is poor. Though more zones are brought in the second round, the response is comparatively better due to a reduction in the price. 
Majority of the cashew zones are disposed off only in the last phase of auctioning when the department leaves it to the buyer to offer the price. 
Excise commissioner Menino D'Souza confirmed that the department auctioning of cashew zones is not happening on expected lines. Few buyers come forward during first and the second rounds, he said. 
"We have to study the whole process. It needs to be overhauled. But it can be done only after we are able to find out why it's happening," said D'Souza. 
The excise department auctions cashew zones every season. Traders who are into brewing feni from cashew apples take the zones on auction. 
This season too, excise department was faced with the same problem. When 1,370 zones were put for auctioning earlier this season, the department could dispose of just 94 zones in the first round. 
South Goa with 397 zones had only 40 zones taken by buyers in the first round. Not surprisingly, during second round too, the department was not very successful. Of the 1,276 cashew zones of North Goa, only 61 were disposed of. 
More than half of the remaining zones are disposed in the third phase when the department is compelled to call for tenders. "Price is quoted by the buyers and the department has no option but to give up zones at reduced prices," he said. 
The department is considering to review the rates of the zones which have not been changed for couple of years.  [TOI]