First RLA auction of 2013 falls flat

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This year's first auction of vanity registration numbers, which usually sets the tone for the entire year's revenue earned through auctions, turned out to be a damp squib. Barring only three registration numbers, most of the numbers including single digit numbers went under the hammer Thursday for either the reserve price or little above it.

Sources in the RLA say that the officials did not rule out the possibility of canceling this auction if the need so arises after investigating the allegations of cartelisation by certain bidders.

Also, this time, only 106 applications were received for 38 numbers as compared to over 100 numbers which are always put in open auction thereby attracting over 300 bidders in all.

The auction started with 0001 in the new series CH-01-AR losing its sheen and went for Rs 3.51 lakh as against Rs 8 lakh last time in December. The reserve price for 0001 is Rs 25,000. The number was bought by Sidharth Bairagi of Sector 49 for his SUV worth Rs 7.5 lakh. There were four bidders for the number.

RLA could barely manage to earn Rs 13.96 lakh after auctioning 38 numbers, the lowest in past two years. Interestingly, allegations were also rife that most of the bidders had formed a cartel to deliberately bring down the bids.

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