14 Sep 2017 | 2:14 AM
The recovery of Rs 9 crore from wine contractors, who held contracts during the last session in the district, has become a severe headache for officials of the Excise and Taxation Department. Meanwhile, the process of auction of the property of defaulting contractors has been initiated by the department.The district authorities have issued “Look out warrants” of as many as 25 contractors to prevent them from fleeing abroad. The department had leased out wine shops in the district for Rs 43 crore during 2016-17. Many liquor shops were allotted to aspirants, who were close to the then ruling SAD government. Most contractors did not deposit the due amount with the department well in time.Officials preferred to avoid any confrontation with defaulting contractors. At the same time they added the due interest with the outstanding amount.Local Excise and Taxation Commissioner (ETC) Sukhchain Singh said as many as 25 contractors were defaulters as they had to pay the due amount of Rs 9 crore to the department.The ETO, Kulbir Singh, said after taking information from the Revenue Department “Red Entries” were made against properties of defaulting contractors, besides imposing a ban on the sale or purchase of the marked property.He said the process of issuing look out warrant proved helpful for the department as six contractors, who were trying to go abroad, were arrested by at airport by the authorities concerned. In such cases defaulters had deposit Rs 30 lakh with the department, he added.Meanwhile, officials said, “Now, a process has been initiated to attach properties of defaulting contractors with the department. After its completion these will be auctioned to recover the outstanding amount from contractors.”The move of the department has led to a panic among wine contractors.