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MSTC has played a key role in the last coal e-auc­tion. Kindly share the de­tails of the ex­pe­ri­ence.

The Supreme Court of In­dia had can­celled the al­lo­ca­tion of 204 coal mines in Septem­ber 2014 and set a dead­line for the Gov­ern­ment of In­dia to en­sure that the op­er­at­ing coal mines are re-al­lo­cated through e auc­tion by 31st March 2015 so that coal pro­duc­tion from those mines is not ham­pered. Given the enor­mity of the work, it was a task for the Min­istry of Coal es­pe­cially be­cause there was no prece­dence of e-auc­tion of coal mines or for that mat­ter any mine in the coun­try. The whole process had to con­cep­tu­al­ized, doc­u­mented and got ap­proved. MSTC ap­proached the

Min­istry of Coal with the of­fer to pro­vide its e-auc­tion ser­vices. Af­ter a thor­ough due dili­gence, Min­istry of Coal ap­pointed MSTC as the e-auc­tion ser­vice provider for the 204 coal mines. The de­ci­sion was greatly in­flu­enced by the fact that MSTC had the ex­pe­ri­ence to han­dle crit­i­cal, sen­si­tive and time bound as­sign­ments. It was en­gaged by the Hon’ble Supreme Court as the ser­vice provider for e-auc­tion of iron ore in Kar­nataka in 2011. More­over, MSTC does not have any con­flict of in­ter­est in the e-auc­tion process and hence can act as a neu­tral third party ser­vice provider en­sur­ing that ev­ery bid­der is treated equally. This is very im­por­tant for an e-auc­tion ser­vice provider to prove its neu­tral­ity and fairness. The e-auc­tion process in it­self has been a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for our team. Our team had worked in­tan­dem with the of­fi­cials of the Nodal Author­ity and Trans­ac­tion Ad­vi­sor.

MSTC has been han­dling e-auc­tion of Coal In­dia Ltd. But the vol­ume of e auc­tion is fall­ing in the re­cent past. What is your ob­ser­va­tion on that?

MSTC is the first com­pany to have con­ducted e-auc­tion for sale of coal for Coal In­dia Lim­ited way back in 2004. Since then, MSTC is con­duct­ing e auc­tions for sale of coal on be­half of Coal In­dia Ltd and its sub­sidiary com­pa­nies. The vol­ume of sale de­pends on the quan­tity of coal of­fered by Coal In­dia Ltd on year to year ba­sis. The vol­ume of sale of coal through e auc­tions han­dled by MSTC in last two years i.e 2013-14 and 2014-15 have been Rs 5618 Crore and Rs 6055 Crore re­spec­tively. In the cur­rent fis­cal (201516) first four months, the vol­ume of sale of coal for Coal In­dia is ap­prox­i­mately Rs 2500 Crore which makes us to be­lieve that the to­tal sale for 2015-16 can be in the range of Rs 7500 Crore. Thus, the vol­ume of e-auc­tion for Coal In­dia Ltd han­dled by MSTC is in the up­swing. The sale of coal through e-auc­tion takes care of the de­mands of small and non-power sec­tor con­sumers and at the same time it gives Coal In­dia good rev­enues in a trans­par­ent way.

How have you en­sured the trans­parency of the whole process?

MSTC doesn’t out­source any part of its ac­tiv­ity to any out­side agency or per­son and ac­com­plishes all its as­sign­ments

through its full time employees who sign Non Dis­clo­sure Agree­ment with the com­pany. This en­sures that govern­men­tal func­tions are car­ried out by gov­ern­ment of­fi­cers and the sanc­tity of in­for­ma­tion is fully se­cured. MSTC’S pro­cesses are in full com­pli­ance to gov­ern­ment rules, reg­u­la­tions and guide­lines and are sub­ject to au­dit by CVC, CAG and Par­lia­men­tary Com­mit­tees. Trans­parency of op­er­a­tion is given top­most pri­or­ity in MSTC and the checks and bal­ances in the sys­tem are de­signed to en­sure the same. Sale and pur­chase de­ci­sions in the gov­ern­ment were taken by the own of­fi­cers with­out en­gag­ing any out­side pri­vate agen­cies. Be­ing a sov­er­eign func­tion of the gov­ern­ment, it must be dis­charged ei­ther by the gov­ern­ment them­selves or by its own agen­cies like NIC & MSTC.

Which are the other or­ga­ni­za­tions you are hold­ing auc­tions apart from the coal min­istry?

MSTC has been ren­der­ing its e-auc­tion ser­vices to al­most all the ma­jor PSUS in the coun­try. Gov­ern­ments of Andhra Pradesh, Ker­ala, Delhi, Min­istry of De­fence, Fi­nance, Home Af­fairs, Cab­i­net Sec­re­tariat, PMO, Niti Ayog etc are other ma­jor clients of MSTC. Fol­low­ing the coal mine e-auc­tion process, Min­istry of Power has en­gaged MSTC as the e-bid man­age­ment agency for al­lo­ca­tion of PSDF to stranded gas based power plants in the coun­try.

What are your ar­eas of pri­or­ity apart from auc­tions?

MSTC also pro­vides e-ten­der­ing so­lu­tions and e-re­verse auc­tion ser­vices for meet­ing pro­cure­ment needs of gov­ern­ment clients. MSTC has also con­ducted global e-ten­der-cum-eauc­tion for sale of barite ore and red san­der wood where for­eign bid­ders have par­tic­i­pated. Apart from e-commerce ser­vices, MSTC has a long history of im­port­ing bulk in­dus­trial raw ma­te­ri­als on back to back ar­range­ment mostly for steel in­dus­try. Be­sides, MSTC is now a renowned sup­plier of im­ported ther­mal coal to power pro­duc­ing com­pa­nies like APGENCO, MAHAGENCO, RRVUNL, HPGCL, TANGEDCO etc. In e-commerce, MSTC is one of the largest e-commerce ser­vice providers. It pro­vides seam­less ser­vice from de­sign­ing the model ar­chi­tec­ture to pro­gram­ming and fi­nal roll out of e-auc­tion plat­forms by its own employees with­out any out­sourc­ing.

What is the over­all per­for­mance of MSTC in terms of turnover and profit?

MSTC be­ing an e-commerce com­pany is small in size in terms of man power. The com­pany has about 315 employees on the role for all its of­fices lo­cated in all state cap­i­tals and trade points. The com­pany has made op­er­at­ing profit ev­ery year since its in­cep­tion in 1964 and has paid div­i­dend to Gov­ern­ment of In­dia reg­u­larly. Dur­ing 2014-15, the turnover of the com­pany was Rs 5506 crore and is re­port­ing a PBT of about Rs 131 crore. The vol­ume of busi­ness per­formed on our por­tal was more than Rs 29000 crore in 2014-15.

What are the fu­ture plans for MSTC?

MSTC aims to main­tain its pos­i­tive growth in terms of vol­ume of busi­ness. MSTC doesn’t aim to have a pol­icy of making large prof­its. Its ob­jec­tive is to emerge as the gov­ern­ment’s trusted arm of e-commerce ac­tiv­i­ties not lim­ited to only e-auc­tion. MSTC’S strength lies in its abil­ity to con­vert any phys­i­cal com­mer­cial ac­tiv­ity to on­line ac­tiv­ity. Hence, MSTC is look­ing for­ward to more as­sign­ments from the gov­ern­ment which will align with the Dig­i­tal In­dia pro­gramme of Gov­ern­ment of In­dia. MSTC also has plans to set up auto shred­ding plants in the coun­try for en­vi­ron­ment friendly re­cy­cling of scrap which will pre­serve the vir­gin re­sources and lower costs for con­sumers. MSTC has also plans to open up trade of­fices in Sin­ga­pore, Europe and UAE, for pro­vid­ing e-commerce ser­vices where there are huge pos­si­bil­i­ties due to our lower costs of oper­a­tions and thus turn MSTC into a full fledged MNC in gov­ern­ment sec­tor.

MSTC has en­deav­ored to or­ga­nize and ex­pand mar­kets for the var­i­ous com­modi­ties han­dled by it making the trans­ac­tions as trans­par­ent as pos­si­ble through ex­ten­sive use of e-commerce – from e-auc­tion of for­est and agri­cul­tural pro­duce to e-auc­tion of iron...

“MSTC has made rapid stride in the e-commerce sec­tor in line with the new Gov­ern­ment Pol­icy for pro­mot­ing e-gov­e­mance in all sec­tors of econ­omy. As a re­sult of this, MSTC could not only ex­pand its vol­ume of busi­ness in the ex­ist­ing ar­eas but also...

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