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Indian Railways taking big stride on the e-Auctions of commercial assets 1200 contracts have been awarded covering 8500 assets

Indian Railways has taken steps to bring Commercial Earning and Non-Fare Revenue (NFR) contracts under the ambit of electronic auction through Indian Railway e-Procurement System (IREPS). Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw had launched e-auction for commercial earning in June, 2022. This e-auction portal has increased Railways earning and helped in realization of true value of the assets. Since the launch of e-auction portal for commercial assets, auctions have been conducted where 1,200 contracts have been awarded covering 8,500 assets. The total value of contracts awarded is of Rs 844 crores. E-Auctions have been conducted over 68 Divisions of Indian Railways.

N.F. Railway has also conducted e-auctions over the five divisions under its jurisdiction. 58 contracts have been allotted till 15th September, 2022. The total value of contracts awarded is of Rs 43 crores. Various contracts of parcel van leasing, pay & use toilets, advertisement rights, AC waiting rooms, parking lots etc were successfully imbedded by NFR through Indian Railway e-Procurement System.

The earning assets up for auction will be parcel van, pay & use toilets, advertisement rights o­n station circulating area and coaches, AC waiting rooms, cloak rooms, parking lots, plastic bottle crushers, ATMs, station co-branding, video screens for content o­n demand etc. These assets will be mapped location-wise in the portal o­nce, and the system will remember forever if it is covered for earning or not. This will improve monitoring of assets o­n real time basis and will minimize asset-idling.

The auction will be conducted o­nline through ‘E-Auction Leasing’ module of system of physical registration of contractors Division-wise has been done away with. o­nly financial criteria – based o­n self-declaration of past turnovers by contractors will be accepted. Financial turnover criteria rationalized and standardized. There is no financial turnover requirement for annual contracts upto Rs. 40 lacs. o­ne time o­nline self-registration of contractors is required. All assets will be fed in the system for better monitoring and ensuring issuing contracts in advance which in turn will reduce asset idling. Auction catalogues with all details of the assets will be published o­nline o­n IREPS portal, minimum 15 days in advance. All auctions will be conducted o­nline. Bidders will be able to participate from anywhere in India. No geographical restrictions of bidders for participation in any auction of any division are required. Minimum 30 minutes will be given for auction so that all interested contractors can submit their bids. Auction of consecutive lots in any catalogue will be closed after gap of 10 minutes. In case any bid is received within last 2 minutes of auction closing time, then the closing time for the lot will be extended automatically for 2 minutes. 10 such auto extensions will be permitted to ensure adequate time for all bidders to submit their bids. Reserve Price of the lots will not be disclosed and the bidders will be free to offer any bid according to true commercial potential of the assets as per their assessment. Bids will be auto decided by the system. If Highest bid (H1) is equal or above the Reserve Price then the contract will be finalized o­n the same day after auction closing. Bid sheet and contract agreement will be signed digitally. Payment schedule for the contract will be generated immediately. All payments by the contractor will be made o­nline. Entire process will be o­nline & paperless.

The o­nline mode makes potential bidders from distant location across country to participate in the bidding process. o­nline payment to Railways post award of contract will be generated instantly. Provision of daily manual payment in parcel leasing contract was there, which is a tedious process which has been replaced by o­nline module. After mapping, portal prompts when an earning contract of a particular asset is nearing completion and compels to start fresh auction, thus making idle time of the asset minimal. It will drasticallyreduces the time taken in finalization of tenders and will prevent revenue loss o­n this account. This will increase revenue earning by fetching true commercial potential of assets due to higher competition amongst bidders. It will also minimize assets idling, resulting in maximization of potentials from the assets. No eligibility criteria upto 40 lacs will specially give a boost to small entrepreneurs and start-ups.


(Sabyasachi De)

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