The UT excise and taxation department on Saturday sealed seven liquor vends over non-payment of licence fees.

According to a department official, following the action, three licence holders paid the pending fees, while payment for the remaining four liquor vends remains outstanding.

The city has 95 liquor vends. As many as 18 auctions were held for these vends since the implementation of the 2023-24 Excise Policy from April 1, but 18 remain unsold.

The last auction on July 18 had failed to attract any bidders for the fifth consecutive time. No bidders had come forward even during the fifth, eighth, ninth and 12th rounds.

In 2022-23, the department was able to sell 93 out of the total 96 liquor vends after conducting seven auctions.

Advocate Sachit Jaiswal, who deals in excise and taxation cases, said, “The poor response is due to stark difference in VAT between Punjab and Chandigarh. Punjab has levied only 1% VAT compared to 12.5% by Chandigarh. The licencees of Chandigarh cannot compete with liquor prices in Punjab and are facing huge losses. More liquor vends are lined up for closure due to non-payment of licence fees and excess quota.”

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