Doing away with past practices, Indian railways have recently made it mandatory to e-auction the sale of scrap metals.
The initiative is part of the ‘Digital India’ initiative by Modi government and even generated over Rs 3,000 crore from such sales in the last fiscal.
The figure was given by a senior Railway Ministry official who also added that they have now completely switched over to this new practice:
“We have switched over to 100% e-auction for sale of scrap. The e-auction has fetched above Rs 3,000 crore revenue in 2014-15.”
The e-auction facility for the sale of scrap metals has not only enabled prospective scrap purchasers to bid simultaneously, but they can also now instantly pay via digital e-payment facility.
Before Indian Railways made the e-auction mandatory for the scarp, they ran a pilot project.
Last year the Southern Railway commissioned to sell scrap via online process to not only see how prospective buyers responded to the move, but to also see if there were some glitches that needed to be taken care of.
According to the official “Some lacunae were found in the e-auction,” which they addressed fully before turning to e-auction full fledged.
With this move, the Indian Railways hopes to achieve full transparency in the process.
The Railway officials also believe that this will also eliminate the role of any mafia, which was a concern in case of an open auction.
The official said:
“After the introduction of e-auction not only the role of the mafia was eliminated but it has also brought complete transparency in the entire scrap trade.”
Every year, the Indian Railways sells thousands of tonnes of scrap, including about 15,000 wagons, 1,200 coaches, 80 to 100 locomotives in public auction. Now with e-auction, they have also proposed to leasing of parcels and other commercials contracts.
The railways have already moved to paperless settlement of tenders and are now enlarging the scope of e-procurement. The new policy now proposes that any procurement above Rs 1 lakh will be carried through e-procurement system only.