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Commerce Ministry de-notifies STC, MMTC & PEC: A leap towards closure

By IndianMandarins- 08 Sep 2022
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New Delhi (08.09.2022): The Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry decided to de-notify three Central Public Sector Units (PSUs); MMTC, STC and PEC as nominated agencies for imports and exports of goods like high-grade iron ore and precious metals. Following the de-notification, these companies will no longer remain canalizing agencies for the import and export of goods for the government.
The move aims at the closure of Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC), State Trading Corporation (STC), and Project & Equipment Corporation of India Limited (PEC).  MMTC and STC were incorporated in 1963 and 1956, respectively whereas PEC Ltd was carved out of the STC in 1971-72.
The ministry has made it clear that their utility was examined well and the ministry firmly believes that there is no need for any canalizing agency in the department of commerce.
The ministry said that “It is also relevant to mention here that keeping in view the guidelines of Department of Public Enterprises on New Enterprise Policy for CPSEs in the non-strategic sector, the proposal for closure of MMTC, STC, and PEC is under consideration”.
Simultaneously the Ministry said that “DGFT is requested to de-notify MMTC, STC, PEC and STCL Ltd as canalized agencies/nominated agencies for all businesses in the EXIM (export-import) policy so that buyers/sellers can be informed suitably”.
Under the current foreign trade policy (2015-20), there are seven nominated agencies for the import of precious metals which includes four from the department of commerce — MMTC, STC, PEC Ltd, and STCL Ltd. The Union Cabinet had approved the closure of STCIL, a subsidiary of STC, in 2013 and its winding up petition is pending in the Karnataka High Court.
MMTC was a canalizing agency for the import and export of high-grade iron ore, manganese ore, chrome ore, copra, and red sanders and the import of precious metals. STC was a canalizing agency for imports of essential items of mass consumption such as wheat, pulses, sugar, and edible oils whereas PEC was engaged in the export and import of machinery and railway equipment.

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