The ministry has called for expression of interest (EoI) from companies and consortium for the strategic sale of the public sector undertaking (PSU). The ministry is also in the process of roping in an advisor for the disinvestment process of the PSU soon. The final date of submitting EoI is set on March 25th.
The ministry, vide its order dated February 26, said that the bidders should have a minimum networth of Rs three crore and a turnover of Rs 12 crore.
Besides, they should also have a satisfactory business and management track record. In the case of consortium bid, the financial parameters of the lead bidder should be at least 51 per cent of required networth and turnover, it added.
The ministry is also in the process of appointing an advisor for the disinvestment process in the company. Once the advisor has been appointed, it would scrutinise the bids and shortlist the prospective buyers for the company. The CIWTCL was incorporated in 1967 and is engaged in transportation by inland waterways.
As a part of its disinvestment programme, the Centre is planning to put its entire 100 per cent equity in the company along with transfer of management through strategic sale. The company has two business divisions, River Services Division (RSD) and Rajabagan Dockyard (RD).
The RSD is in the business of cargo transportation by Inland Waterways from Kolkata to Allahabad, Kolkata to Pandu, Assam and Kolkata to Karimganj, Assam.
The PSU owns and maintains a large fleet of vessels to ferry the cargo in the above regions.
The PSU has identified the activities of RSD as the core business of the company. The dockyard division is engaged in the construction and maintenance of small and medium sized vessels.
The Centre is currently implementing a re-organisation plan for the ailing PSU with a capital outlay of Rs 139.55 crore with a provision of write-off of loan and interest till March 2000 aggregating Rs 425.20 crore.
As per the MoU signed between the company and the ministry of shipping in January 2002, the implementation of the rehabilitation package includes a capital outlay of one time grant for payment of statutory and non-statutory liabilities to the tune of Rs 33.71 crore, one time repair of vessels at a cost of Rs 13 crore, capital repair of vessels at a cost of Rs 20 crore and construction of vessels under the seventh and eighth five year plans by shelling out Rs nine crore.
It also include capital expenditure of Rs three crore to relocate R&D facilities, ways and means loans of Rs 33.77 crore and a voluntary retirement scheme at a cost of Rs 27.07 crore.
The company had a staff strength of 1,667 workers of which 390 had opted for VRS.