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Third phase of red sanders auction may fetch over Rs 800 crore

PTI 07 Oct 2015, 12:49:38 IST

Hyderabad : After netting over Rs 1,000 crore from red sanders global auction in the first and second phase,Andhra Pradesh government is looking forward to raise another Rs 800 crore from the sale of 2,868 metric tonnes (MTs) of seized stock of the precious wood in the third phase.

The third phase of e-tender cum e-auction by inviting global tenders for sale of 2,868 MT of graded red sanders wood in log form, will be conducted for three days from October 28 through MSTC Ltd, a Government of India enterprise, a senior Andhra Pradesh Forest Department official said.

The Director General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) had earlier issued notification permitting the government to export 8,584 tonne red sanders wood in log form out of confiscated/seized stock available with the state government.

Accordingly, the first phase of the global auction for 117 lots, consisting of 2,694 tonne red sanders wood, was conducted in November-December last year that fetched the government Rs 855.91 crore.

In the second phase held in June this year, 3,500 tonne were put for auction, though only 840 tonne of "C" grade were sold, which fetched Rs 178 crore to the exchequer.

Intending tenderers or their representatives can inspect the lots notified for sale till October 27 and the domestic and international tenderers should register themselves with MSTC, the Forest official explained, adding a pre-bidding meeting will be held on October 15 at Vijayawada.

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The starting price is fixed at Rs 21 lakh per MT for "C" grade, Rs 38 lakh per MT for "B" grade, and Rs 52 lakh per MT for "A" grade as recommended by the Tender Committee.

"This time also the majority of the buyers could be from China like in the first and the second phase. Forest department estimates that a sum of over Rs 800 crore could be earned through the third phase," the official told PTI.

Red sanders, also known as red sandalwood, is a valuable wood which has a huge demand overseas, particularly in China,Japan and East Asia where it is used for making cosmetic products, furniture, musical instruments and is even used in traditional medicines.

Red sanders grow mainly in Seshachalam hill ranges spread across Kadapa, Chittoor and Kurnool in the Rayalaseema region and parts of Nellore district in AP, though majority of red sanders smuggling takes place from Chittoor and Kadapa.