Saturday, February 21, 2015

Know more about MSTC, the PSU behind e-auction of coal blocks

MSTC CMD S.K. Tripathi  
EVEN as the process of e-auction is underway, a PSU has been played a pivotal role in the entire exercise.
MSTC has developed an e-Procurement portal and is ready with end-to-end e-Procurement services.
MSTC has of late emerged as a major player in the country for promoting e-commerce.
Meanwhile, till the seventh day of auction...
of coal blocks on February 20 the government has till now raised nearly Rs.84,000 crore.
The government said it will start the second tranche of auctions by February 25. "The second trench will start from February 25 (and run) till April 2," coal secretary Anil Swarup said in a press conference He said that 27 blocks have been allocated for the unregulated sector, while 56 blocks will go to the regulated power sector.
"Will either auction or allocate 83 blocks by March 31," he added.
"The majority of Rs.83,662 crore raised will go to poor states. Orissa is expected to get Rs.607 crore, Madhya Pradesh will get Rs.39,900 crore, Maharashtra will get Rs.18,900 crore," Swarup said.
The ongoing auction has vindicated CAG's criticism of the way the natural resources was allocated by the previous government, commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman said.
In a 2012 report, the Comptroller and Auditor General estimated coal block allocations during the previous UPA period led to the government losing Rs186,000 crore. The coal blocks were earlier allocated through a screening committee.
MSTC has presented with e-auction portal namely, which has become an immensely popular tool for transacting business over the internet in a most transparent and fair manner. The portal provides a virtual marketplace for domestic sellers and buyers to do business in metal scrap (ferrous/non-ferrous), surplus stores, machineries, obsolete spares, vehicles, minerals and agriculture & forest produce etc. The methodology adopted includes open tender, public auction and e-auction.
After extensive due diligence by the ministry of coal, MSTC was selected as an auctioneer for the e-auctions of 204 coal blocks.
Even the apex court, while exploring for a service provider for e-auctioning of iron-ore in Karnataka about three years back, had selected MSTC and entrusted work at a very low service charge decided by them.
In an interview with a leading national daily, MSTC CMD S.K. Tripathi explained the modalities adhered to for e-auctioning of coal blocks in line with government directives
“MSTC Limited has developed an auction catalogue in line with the Coal Ordinance (special provision) Act, 2014 and directives from the ministry of coal (MoC). It is working in close coordination with the nominated authority of government of India and transaction advisor for the e-auction of coal blocks cancelled by the apex court.”
For the process, MSTC has developed a special coal portal which was launched by the minister of coal, power & renewable energy, Piyush Goel, on December 25, 2014.
The submission of technical bids and the opening were conducted on February 3 and presently is at an evaluation stage.
E-auction has taken place in the reverse mode for six power blocks -Amelia North, Tokisud North, Talabira I, Garepalma IV2&3, Sarisatoli and Transdamodar. For the other 15 blocks, the e-auction will be in forward mode.
MSTC was selected as it was necessary to ensure that allocation was done with transparency and fairness by an independent neutral agency owned by the government of India.
MSTC is a government PSU and a standalone service provider.
Also the auctioneer should not be an 'interested party' for either allocation or exploitation of coal blocks and should be at an arm's length from any prospective bidder. MSTC qualifies this criteria as it does not have any interest for e-auction of coal blocks and is able to prove and project its neutrality in the whole process.
MSTC, a Mini Ratna PSU under the administrative control of the ministry of steel has developed a series of initiatives in a bid to recycle waste, protect environment and promote growth.
MSTC became a subsidiary of SAIL in 1974. In 1982, it got delinked from SAIL and became an independent company under Ministry of Steel. It was a canalizing agency for import of ferrous scrap till 1992.
After the Supreme Court last September cancelled the allocation of 204 mines, the government decided to auction the blocks.

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