Bhubaneswar, Jan. 31: The Odisha government has decided to introduce e-auction to sell bulk minerals such as iron, manganese and chrome ores from April 1.
However, the ores required for captive consumption will remain out of the auction’s ambit. To opt for the e-auction system, the state will soon sign an MoU with Calcutta-based MSTC Limited, a central public sector unit. The unit will provide the infrastructure and expertise for the electronic sale of minerals. “We have discussed the matter with the company officials and they have given their consent,” said an official. The Odisha government will chalk out the role and remuneration of the MSTC.
However, the state rejected the demands of the All-Odisha Steel Federation (AOSF) to introduce a separate e-auction for local industries.
AOSF president P.L. Kandoi said: “The government should look after the interests of the Odisha-based industries. If they are not being given minerals at a cheaper rate compared to other industries based outside Odisha, they will certainly be affected.”
Kandoi said the government should not only look after the interest of the big players, but also small units. “The government should give a proposal to this effect to the MSTC,” he said
However, Odisha director of mines Deepak Mohanty said it was not feasible to introduce two different types of auction systems for the local industries and those from outside Odisha. “The MSCT will conduct the e-auction on behalf of the state. We are examining buyer-specific and seller-specific conditions with respect to the e-auction. All this will be finalised within three days,” Mohanty said.
Officials said all stakeholders, including representatives of mining fraternity, traders and consuming industries, had given their consent for the e-auction.
MSTC chairman and managing director S.K. Tripathi said: “We are ready to provide e-auction services to Odisha. It will involve registration of buyers and sellers. The entire process will be a transparent one.”