E-auction System Launched For Railway Asset Contracts, To Increase Revenue And Transparency


Railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launched e-auction for commercial earning and Non-Fare Revenue (NFR) contracts in Indian Railways on Friday (24 June).

The pilot of the e-auction was launched in 11 divisions of 9 zones. A total of 80 contracts with a total value of Rs 128 crore were finalised during the pilot launch.

“E-auction will not only increase Railways earning but also bolster efforts being taken by the Government for ease of doing business,” the Ministry of Railways said.

Under the new system, railway assets like parcel vans, pay and use toilets, advertisement rights on station circulating areas and coaches, AC waiting rooms, cloakrooms, parking lots, plastic bottle crushers, ATMs, station co-branding, video screens for content on-demand etc., are included.

These assets will be mapped location-wise in the portal once, and the system will remember whether it is covered for earning or not. This mechanism will improve the monitoring of assets on a real-time basis and will minimise asset-idling.

Participation in present e-tendering requires physical registration with the concerned field unit. This process makes it difficult for potential bidders from the rest of India to compete. Also, it takes time to finalisation due to the requirement of a physical meeting of tender committee members.

The new system includes only financial criteria – based on self-declaration of past turnovers by contractors and one-time online self-registration of contractors. Further, there is no financial turnover requirement for annual contracts up to Rs 40 lakh.

Also, no geographical restrictions are placed for participation in any auction of any division, making potential bidders from distant locations across the country participate in the bidding process.

Standardisation of eligibility conditions pan-India and simplifying processes with all payments moved online reduces the time to finalise tenders. And the new system would break any existing bidder cartels as bidders’ identities will be masked from each other and the officials.