New Delhi: A high-level meeting chaired by Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal is likely to take a call on the closure of government-owned Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC), State Trading Corporation (STC) and Project & Equipment Corporation of India Limited (PEC) on October 23, according to reliable sources.
The closure of the three companies has been hanging fire after the Union Commerce Ministry decided to denotify them as canalising agencies for imports and exports last year.
In a major embarrassment, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) had cancelled the licence of MMTC Ltd in August as a stock broker for its involvement in illegal ‘paired contracts’ in a case related to National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL).
MMTC traded in “paired contracts”, which did not have regulatory approval. The Ministry has stated that the utility of the three central public sector trading companies was examined and it was of the view that there is no need for any canalising agency in the department of commerce.
The issue pertaining to the closure of the three central public sector undertakings has also been examined by the Niti Aayog.
The Ministry had also stated, “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”.
MMTC was a canalising agency for the import and export of high-grade iron ore, manganese ore, chrome ore, copra, and precious metals.
STC was a canalizing agency for imports of essential items of mass consumption such as wheat, pulses, sugar, and edible oils, while PEC was the agency for the export and import of machinery and railway equipment.
MMTC and STC were set up 1963 and 1956, respectively whereas PEC Ltd was constituted in 1971-72.