The commerce ministry has decided to denotify state-owned companies — MMTC, STC and PEC — as canalising or nominated agencies for imports and exports of goods like high-grade iron ore and precious metals. These companies will no longer serve as canalising agencies for government imports and exports after denotification. The ministry has evaluated the utility of these undertakings – MMTC, STC and PEC Ltd- and concluded that a canalising agency for the department of commerce is not needed.
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”. Cabinet had approved closure of STCL, subsidiary of STC, in 2013 and its winding up petition is pending in the High Court of Karnataka.
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”.
State Trading Corporation (STC), Project & Equipment Corporation of India (PEC) and Metals & Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) are under the administrative control of the ministry. MMTC and STC were created in 1963 and 1956, respectively. PEC Ltd was carved out of the STC in 1971-72.
MMTC was a canalising agency for import and export of high grade iron ore, manganese ore, chrome ore, copra and red sanders and import of precious metals. Similarly, STC was a canalising agency for imports of essential items of mass consumption such as wheat, pulses, sugar and edible oils. PEC was engaged in export and import of machinery and railway equipment.