Golden Rock Workshop takes e-auction route to sell scrap

In a bid to ensure transparency, the Stores Department of the Golden Rock Railway Workshop here has introduced an e-auction system for selling railway scrap materials.

The new system provides a common platform for scrap purchasers all over the country to offer their bids online in a fair and transparent manner.

A valid class III digital signature certificate; payment of online registration fee of Rs.10,000 and payment of 10 per cent of the bid lot; possession of SBI account with online banking facility are among the prerequisites laid down for the buyers for taking part in the bidding process under the e-auction system.

E- auction has been hosted in the e-procurement site and is maintained by the Centre for Railway Information Systems. The new system provides user name and password for the registered purchasers who can log on to the site and make their bidding. It also provides for e-payment gateway for online payment of Earnest Money Deposit.

The new system will ensure better competition and reduce scope for cartelisation, say workshop authorities. It would fetch more revenue for the railways as the competition would be wide open and simplify work for the officials. For the purchasers, the system would ensure transparency as the bidder can view the amount quoted by his competitor. The traditional system of auctioning would continue till such period the new system is well established, authorities said. Auction of scrap materials takes place once or twice every month in the workshop, a senior official said adding that the workshop had been selling scrap materials to the tune of Rs.120.50 crore per annum.

Engine blocks, plate off-cuts, used brake blocks, released cylinder liners, bazaar scrap and over-aged rails and sleepers are the scrap materials sold time to time by the workshop.

The first e-auction conducted on Friday fetched Rs.27.54 lakh for the workshop which is engaged in myriad activities including periodic overhaul of diesel locomotives and manufacture of container wagons and steam engines.

The new system was inaugurated by the Controller of Stores, Southern Railway, B.K.Sinha in the presence of Chief Workshop Manager P.Mahesh and senior officials.

Rlys earns Rs 2,210 cr by selling scrap

When the going gets tough, the scrappers get going. So, faced with the declining growth in traffic, the Indian Railways has been selling its scrap as never before — and earned Rs 2,210 crore in the first 10 months of 2008-09 alone.

There’s more to come. But the proceeds so far this year are seven per cent higher than the Rs 2,032 crore for April-January 2007-08.

This money directly goes into the surplus. The Railways expects to close 2008-09 with a surplus before dividend of Rs 19,320 crore which means that if the scrap sale targets are met, earnings from scrap sales will account for over 15 per cent of the surplus. In 2007-08, the corresponding figure was 11 per cent of the Rs 25,006 crore surplus. The Railways sells thousands of tonnes of scrap — over 12,000-16,000 wagons, 1,200-1,300 coaches, 50-100 locomotives, worn-out rails, unserviceable items, condemned machinery and plant — every year through tenders or public auction.

“We have sold about 7.25 lakh tonnes of non-ferrous scrap till January in the current fiscal. This constitutes 80-85 per cent of the total scrap that the Railways sells,” said a Ministry official.

There is also a plan to start selling scrap through online auctions. “CRIS, the IT arm of Indian Railways, is developing e-auction software for the purpose,” said the official. This will be a part of the e-procurement module that is being rolled out.

A pilot project for online auction for scrap sales was started in 2006-07 in Southern Railway. The software was provided by Metal Scrap Trading Corporation (MSTC). But the Railways decided to develop the e-auction software internally after MSTC demanded charges of about 1.5-2 per cent of total proceeds from scrap sale.

India Railways processes 3,712 e tenders in 5 months

BL reported that electronic procurement or e-procurement is getting popular in the Indian Railways with over 3,712 e-tenders uploaded and opened in the last 5 months or so.

On the Railways’ e-procurement Web site, which was launched around August to September 2008, over 1,737 e-tenders are currently uploaded, 1,778 e-tenders have already been opened and over 197 purchase orders have been issued in last 5 to 6 months. Over 1,800 vendors, who are uppliers have registered themselves on the Web site.

The online procurement process started in various zones and 5 production units of the Railways September 2008 onwards. As on date, nine railway zones and 5 production units have already adopted e-procurement. The Ministry has asked the nine zonal railways and five production units to float and open all their tenders electronically by March 31st 2009.

An official source said that “All of them have agreed.” While the exact value of these tenders could not be ascertained, the 5 production units have annual procurement of about INR 5,000 crore or so. The source said that “As for the zonal railways, each zone procures about INR 500 crore to INR 800 crore worth of rolling stock and maintenance spares.”

Meanwhile, Indian Railways procures goods valued at about INR 16,500 crore annually and this excludes procurement of another INR 5,000 odd crore.

(Sourced from Business Line)