Indian Railways to E-Auction Assets for Commercial Earning, Non-Fare Revenue: Ashwini Vaishnaw

To boost small entrepreneurs and start-ups, the railways have brought its commercial earning and non-fare revenue contracts online, with no financial turnover requirement for annual agreements of up to Rs. 40 lacks.

In line with the prevailing e-auction of scrap sales, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw launched an e-auction for commercial earning and non-fare revenue (NFR) contracts on Friday.

“This policy is in line with the prime minister’s vision to change the commoner’s experience through technology. With this new policy, the tedious process of tendering would get simplified. Also, it would give opportunities for youngsters to join the e-auction process. This policy enhances ease of living, promotes transparency, and adds to Digital India initiatives in the railways,” Vaishnaw said.

The earning assets for auction will be parcel vans, pay-and-use toilets, advertisement rights on station circulating areas and coaches, air-conditioned waiting rooms, cloakrooms, parking lots, plastic bottle crushers, ATMs, station co-branding, video screens for content on demand, etc.

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

Participation in e-tendering currently requires physical registration with the field unit concerned. It takes time to finalization due to the requirement of a physical meeting of the tender committee members.

In the e-auction process, a bidder from anywhere in the country must self-register once to participate in the auctions of any field unit of the Indian Railways through the portal. Bids can be placed remotely for the management rights of an asset after depositing the earnest money (EMD) electronically.

A successful bidder would be able to receive acceptance online and through e-mail in a very short period. Except for the requirement of financial turnover, as such, all the eligibility criteria have been removed.

“Further, the financial requirement has been relaxed to a great extent. There is no financial turnover requirement for annual contracts of up to Rs. 40 lakh,” the minister said.

A pilot for the project was launched in 11 divisions of nine railway zones. Eighty contracts with a combined value of Rs. 128 crores were finalized during the pilot launch.

During the pilot run, the Ahmedabad division conducted an e-auction for two parking lots at Gandhidham Junction and Himmatnagar on June 4. For Gandhidham Junction (GIMB), 24 bids were received, whe highest being Rs 12.6 lakh (per annum), 38 percent above the conventional bidding price.

For Himmatnagar (HMT), 26 bids were receied, with the higreceiveding Rs. 62,500 (per annum), 72 percent above the conventional bidding price.

The e-auction will be conducted online through the “E-Auction Leasing” module of IREPS —

Bella E. McMahon
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