The Telegraph
Sunday , March 30 , 2014
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MSTC hopes to get back gold sale dues

Tripathi: Cash chase

Calcutta, March 29: MSTC hopes to recover Rs 600 crore from overseas buyers on the sale of gold jewellery in 2008-09.

The public sector undertaking under the steel ministry is primarily engaged in procurement and e-commerce. It started exporting gems and gold jewellery in 2007.

In 2007-08, it exported jewellery worth Rs 260.63 crore, which were fully realised.

The parliamentary committee on coal and steel in its report in December 2013 said MSTC had sold gold jewellery worth Rs 638 crore to 47 foreign buyers through six Mumbai-based sellers in 2008-09.

Of this, around Rs 600 crore was outstanding from 46 buyers in the UAE, Kuwait and Singapore, who had cited economic slowdown as the cause for failing to repay.

Steel minister Beni Prasad Verma, in a written reply to Lok Sabha, had said MSTC and Export Credit and Guarantee Corporation of India Ltd had carried out due diligence and the business associates were selected based on their past records and creditworthiness.

Verma further said MSTC had initiated legal proceedings against the suppliers as well as the buyers in the UAE and Singapore courts. He also said the CBI and Enforcement Directorate would be taking appropriate action.

S.K. Tripathi, chairman and managing director of MSTC, has said the cases are making progress.

“We are making progress on the recovery. We are winning some of the cases and most of the verdicts are in our favour. We are hopeful of making the recovery,” Tripathi said yesterday on the sidelines of an event at the Bharat Chamber of Commerce.

Though the legal process is time consuming, recovery is expected to take place soon, Tripathi added.