Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Kerala timber, sandalwood e-auction ups revenue

Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Forest Department has been conducting physical auctions at 35 government timber depots under six timber sales divisional forest offices in the state. As a part of increasing the transparency and adding more credibility to the auction process, KFD has stopped the traditional auction method and has embraced the e-auctions through MSTC Limited.

The agreement between MSTC and KFD was signed on 30th September 2014 and the e-auctions were hosted from 19th November 2014. The e-auctions for the six Timber Sales Divisions started on 19th November 2014. A special registration for Rs 500 with a limit of 5 CUM (8 CUM with effect from 1st August 2015) of timber for individuals was suggested by KFD and the same had been implemented by MSTC. This helps the individuals who are constructing their own house to purchase timber directly from KFD through e-auction, without worrying about the higher rates in the open market.

Over 1000 individuals have registered with MSTC and have successfully participated and purchased timber for the construction of their own house. In addition to the success of timber e-auction, Sandalwood sold by Marayoor Sandal Division, Kerala Forest Department was also auctioned through MSTC.

Buyers from all over the country successfully participated in the e-auction. An increment of over 50 per cent on the starting price was witnessed along with a record rate (Rs 14,710 per kg) in the history of Sandal auctions.  In addition to the material value, Government also had benefits in the terms of VAT, FDT, TCS etc which sums up to about 23 per cent of the material value for all the auctions conducted by KFD.

A sale value of Rs 44.66 crores was obtained through Sandal auctions in 2015-16 which observed pan India participation thereby ensuring maximum rates and revenue to Kerala.
A sale value of Rs 35 crores was obtained for the Timber e-auctions conducted from 19th November 2014 to 31st March 2015. In 2015-16 the total sale value for Timber auctions was Rs 167 crores which provided over Rs 38 crores as various taxes to the government.

With the introduction of e-auctions, KFD has successfully eliminated the cartel formation within the buyers, thereby ensuring the maximum sale value. E-auction has provided the liberty to bid online for the individual buyers at the comfort of their home, office or even during travel without facing any competition or resistance from the timber merchants.

Further to the success of timber and Sandal e-auctions, Kerala government has entrusted MSTC for the disposal of vehicles, scrap and other materials from all departments of Kerala government, all over the state through e-auctions.

The auctions for the same have been successfully started from July 1st last year. So far over Rs 2 crores have been obtained as sale value through the disposal of scrap, vehicles, e-waste etc for various departments of the government.

MSTC has thereby played the crucial role in facilitating e-Sale in the state of Kerala for various government departments.

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