Punjab’s e-auction of fancy numbers brings in fancy amount: Rs 7 crore

In rolling weekly e-auction, any fancy number in a particular series is available next week if it is not auctioned.

Punjabis’ craze to get fancy numbers for the vehicles coupled with new auction policy in Punjab has proved to be a money spinner for the state government with the state transport department collecting a revenue of Rs 7 crore in five rolling weekly e-auctions alone after introducing the new policy in mid- November.

In rolling weekly e-auction, any fancy number in a particular series is available next week if it is not auctioned.

As per State Transport Commissioner Dr Amarpal Singh, the revenue collections after introducing the new policy indicate that revenue from auctioning fancy numbers is likely to nearly double than what the department collected in financial year 2019-20.

In 2019-20 fiscal year, the state government earned a total revenue of Rs 37 crore by auctioning fancy numbers.

Unlike the earlier arrangement where the bidder for the fancy number had to deposit half the amount of the reserved price and which was refundable in case of unsuccessful application, the new policy mandates that every bidder has to deposit Rs 1,000 as non-refundable registration fee.

A total of 5,915 successful bidders got their reserved numbers in rolling e-auction in five weeks after the introduction of the new policy.

For registration number 0001 under any Regional Transport Authority/State Transport Authority or the offices of the Sub-Divisional Magistrate (SDM) who have been authorised to issue registration numbers, the reserve price is Rs 2.5 lakh.

The reserve price from any series from 0010 to 0099 is Rs 25,000. The reserve price in other categories of auction ranges from Rs 5,000 to Rs 12,500.

An official in the state transport department said that earlier the respective RTAs, SDM offices and State Transport Authority (STA) used to randomly auction the fancy numbers.

“Under the new policy, there is a weekly auction of new numbers for every RTA, SDM office and STA,” the official said.

According to the new arrangement, the registration to participate in auction of fancy numbers is to be done from 9 am on Sunday to Tuesday midnight, bidding has to be done Wednesday (12:01 am) to Thursday midnight and successful bidder has to make payment between Friday (12:01 am) and Saturday midnight.

As per the recent notification by the transport department, the allotment of reserved numbers shall be valid for 15 days from the date of issue of allotment letter and if the vehicle owner does not register his vehicle within four weeks, the allotment of the reserved number shall automatically stand cancelled and the amount deposited will be forfeited and no refund will be given. The allotted reserved number will be released and made available to the public for further e-auction.

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