Indian Railways
Railways has made e-auction mandatory for scraps as part of Digital India initiative. In Picture: Jaipur - Secunderabad Express.CreativeCommons/BelurAshok

As part of the government's Digital India initiative, Indian railways has chosen e-auctioning as the viable route for all scrap sales in the country. During the financial year 2014-2015, the railways garnered Rs 3000 crore from such auctions.

Using an e-payment facility, e-auction would enable scrap purchasers to bid online simultaneously all over the country. Every year, the railways sells through public auction around 15,000 wagons, 80 to 100 locomotives and 1,200 coaches, Press Trust of India reports.

"We have switched over to 100 percent e-auction for sale of scrap. The e-auction has fetched revenues above Rs 3,000 crore in 2014-15," a senior Railway Ministry official told PTI.

Before e-auctioning was made mandatory, a pilot project was reportedly tested by Southern Railways to try and sell the scrap through an online process. Earlier, the scrap used to be sold in an open auction in the presence of railway officials, but the presence of mafia was feared.

"After the introduction of e-auction not only the role of the mafia was eliminated but it also brought about complete transparency in the entire scrap trade," the official said.

In addition, the e-auction facility will be used to lease out parcels and other contracts. Paperless settlement of tenders has also been started by the railways to enlarge the scope of "e-procurement." Henceforth, every procurement over one lakh will be carried out through the e-auction system, PTI added.

[1000 crore = 10 billion]

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