The Andhra Pradesh government will auction 2,868 metric tonnes (MTs) of graded red sanders in the fourth phase of global auction beginning January 12.
The fourth phase of e-tender cum e-auction by inviting global tenders for sale of 2,868 MTs of seized red sanders wood in log form will be conducted for three days from January 12 through MSTC Ltd, an enterprise of the Union government, as per a tender notice of AP’s Forest Department.
The wood has been stored in Central Warehousing Corporation go-down at Renigunta in Chittoor district of the state and intending tenderers (domestic and international) or their representatives can inspect the lots notified for sale on any working day up to January 11, it 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 in 2014 that fetched the government Rs 855.91 crore.
In the second phase held in June 2015, 3,500 tonne were put for auction, though only 840 tonne of “C” grade were sold, which fetched Rs 178 crore to the exchequer.
The third phase that was scheduled to be held in October last year (for sale of 2,868 MTs) had been cancelled by the state government and fresh tender for sale of 2,868 MTs of red sanders have been called for in the four phase.
Red sanders, also known as red sandalwood, is a valuable wood having 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.