Doing away with past practices, railways has made e-auction mandatory for scrap auction as part of the Digital India initiative even as it made over Rs 3,000 crore from such sales in last fiscal.
“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,” said a senior Railway Ministry official.
E-auction has enabled prospective scrap purchasers to bid simultaneously on an all-India basis with digital e-payment facility.
Before making the e-auction mandatory, a pilot project was commissioned by the Southern Railway to sell scrap via online process.
“Some lacunae were found in the e-auction which were addressed before opting for full-fledged e-auction,” said the official.
Railways sells thousands of tonnes of scrap, including about 15,000 wagons, 1,200 coaches, 80 to 100 locomotives, every year through public auction.
Earlier practice was to sell scrap in open auction in the presence of concerned officials but the role of the mafia could not be ruled out.
“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,” said the official.
Encouraged by the response, e-auction is now proposed to be used for leasing of parcels and other commercials contracts also.
Railways has also started paperless settlement of tenders by enlarging the scope of e-procurement.
As per the new policy, now any procurement above Rs one lakh will be carried through e-procurement system.