Red sanders auctioned

  • First attempt gets good amount
  • Focus on mobilizing revenues for new state

(M Ramdas)

Hyderabad, November 26: Andhra Pradesh Government had reason to be elated at the great success of the first auction of seized and harvested valuable red sanders wood. The 862 metric tonnes fetched a substantial Rs 261 crores. The considerable stock of the precious wood would be sold by auction in phases.  Realizing the immense value of these logs, which come in three quality grades, bidders have come from China, Japan and some far-eastern countries. Some Indian buyers are also in the fray. But the ever-present danger in retrieving red sanders is the sophisticated and armed smugglers who have repeatedly killed forest personnel who have pursued them. In fact, the valuable truckloads retrieved from the forests are only a tip of the iceberg. The AP government should ensure that crores of rupees are not lost to the gangsters. The AP government had obtained the necessary clearance from the environment and forest ministries to auction the red sanders wood which was not allowed till recently. Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu had set his eyes on red sanders and sand to make money for the coffers which are almost empty. The third area on which Naidu has been focusing to mobilize more revenues has been excise. He hopes to increase revenues from this department.

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