KATHMANDU, Nov 13: The Department of Customs has put liquors seized from Tribhuvan International Airport up for auction.
According to customs officials, a total of 6,718 bottles of alcohol have been put up for the auction, setting Rs 13.13 million as the minimum bidding amount.
“These bottles were seized by customs officials from air passengers. Existing law allows air passengers to bring in only one liter of liquors with them," said Chuda Raj Sapkota, an information officer at Tribhuvan Airport Customs Office.
The law came into effect from January 1.
“Of the total bottles, 139 were seized by security personnel deputed at the airport. We have set minimum bidding of these bottles at Rs 283,125," added Sapkota.
Air passengers, including migrant workers coming home from abroad, bring liquors from duty free shops. Earlier, there was no restriction on the quantity. The department put restriction on imports suspecting that liquors bought from duty free shops were being sold to liquor traders.
Customs officials argue that the restriction was put in place as import of alcohol through illegal channels was affecting revenue mobilization.
"The bottles that we have put up for auction were seized between February and mid-July,” Sapkota added.According to Sapkota, firms placing bids for the liquors should produce PAN, tax clearance certificate and the license to sell liquor. Firms should also deposit 10% of the bidding price and send original copy of the deposit voucher along with the bids. The minimum bidding price is exclusive of VAT."We will go for second round of option if we fail to get buyers in the first round," he added.
The government imposes excise duty of up to Rs 1,560 per liter on imported alcohol. Such duty was up to Rs 1,204 per liter in the last fiscal year. To discourage import and consumption of such products, the government has categorized alcohol, cigarette and tobacco-based products as luxury products. Higher excise duty is levied on luxury products.
"Excise duty differs according to the alcohol percentage in the liquor,” he added.