Coal India hugely profits through e-auction
The state-owned Coal India Limited (CIL) has reported an impressive 74.71% increase in its earnings to a record gross profit of INR838.80mn (US$18.61mn) as against INR480.12mn (US$10.65mn) year-on-year (y-o-y). It is expected that the net profit would be about INR500mn (US$11.29mn) as compared to INR242.40mn (US$5.39) y-o-y, up 100%. However, the net profit amount has still not been made available. The CIL interim report on annual performance for the year 2005-06 said that all its subsidiaries including Eastern Coalfields Ltd and Bharat Coking Coal Ltd reported profit earnings during the last fiscal. Earlier, the two subsidiaries were running huge losses but closed 2005-06 with a gross profit of INR35.74bn (US$7.93bn) and INR15.61bn (US$3.46bn) respectively.
It must be noted that the CIL achieved high profitability due to the success of e-auction. Through the e-auction route, CIL sold 19.5 tonnes generating additional revenue of about INR92mn (US$2.04mn).
UP to have 6 e-districts in 12-16 months
The State of Uttar Pradesh would soon have 6 ‘e-districts’ — Sultanpur, Sitapur, Rae Bareli, Ghaziabad, Gautambudh Nagar and Gurgaon. The government departments in these districts would be interlinked and all information available online. According to R. Chandrashekhar, Joint Secretary (e-Governance), Union Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, the e-districts would come up in the next 12-16 months.
S. Abbasi, Director of the Department of Information and Technology (DIT), said, “We will be assisting the UP Government, which has recently approached us to transform six of its districts into ‘e-districts’. Once this happens, better government services will be available to residents. We are considering the reports sent by the UP Government for granting e-status, and are holding discussions with the government representatives at regular intervals.” He further informed, “You need not deposit INR20-25 (US cents 44-55) to get the information you want. You can apply online for the information at the kiosks, which will be established in these districts, and the information will be delivered to you. This will be the most important utility of the e-districts.”
The residents of e-districts would also be able to avail facilities such as online information about land registration, apply for birth and death certificates and pay taxes at the kiosks and Common Service Centres (CSCs). Some of the added benefits include direct referrals to hospitals, online requests for appointments and consultations and vet consultancy services.
Under CM Nitish Kumar, Bihar dates with e-Governance
Bihar’s date with e-Governance has begun in the right earnest with the newly elected chief minister Nitish Kumar firmly in the saddle. As a first step towards e-Governance, 100 Dell laptops at the cost of INR75,000-80,000 (US$ 1,658.13- 1,768.68) would be imported from Malaysia. The laptops would be given to officials at Commissioner and Secretary level. Later, other officials from various departments would also be provided with laptops.
Works are already underway to create a high-tech command centre from where Mr. Kumar would monitor developments of the entire state. The Chief Minister’s bungalow, his office, Chief Secretary’s office and his conference hall are being equipped with high-tech gadgetry necessary for e-government. Under the e-Governance scheme, steps are also being undertaken to create a number of websites that would contain latest information on all developmental issues, NRI-related facilities etc.
Chandigarh earns INR23.90mn through e-Sampark
The Union Territory of Chandigarh’s e-Governance initiative ‘e-Sampark’ has enabled it to earn INR23.90mn (US$5.29mn) through the facilitation of about 11 lakh transactions in the fiscal year 2005-06. According to S.K. Sandhu, Finance Secretary, Information Technology, Chandigarh, eight e-Sampark centres spread across the city are providing the services. Besides, the services could also be availed through online gateway facilities available on the website http://chandigarh.gov.in.
Sandhu informed, “Out of the available services, two recently introduced services namely space booking and HFCL bill payment, were widely accepted and in a short span of two months registered 7,513 transactions. The administration is planning to open one more e-Sampark centre in Sector 40 and 18 mini e-Sampark centres, one in each village of Chandigarh UT, so that the facility can also be extended there. Among the available services, electricity and water bill collection have been the most popular.”
e-Governance as Puja gift from Kolkata Mayor
Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya, Mayor of Kolkata, has said that in the near future he would be able to participate in an online interaction. Bhattacharya said this while speaking at a meeting on ‘Image Building of Kolkata’ organised by the Bengal National Chamber of Commerce & Industry (BNCCI).
Bhattacharya said, “You will be able to speak and chat with me. Things will be at your fingertip. This will be KMC’s puja gift to the city. The KMC’s attempt to provide e-Governance will be successfully accomplished.”
Softrack.net to address rural e-Governance initiatives
Vortex Technologies has developed Softrack.net intended to enable people bring up issues to the concerned authorities via the rural e-Governance initiatives being implemented by various State governments. The software would be made available on Microsoft’s rural portal soon.
K.R. Suresh Reddy, Speaker of the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly, launched the software. Speaking on the occasion, Reddy said, “IT should be used to bridge the rural-urban divide. I suggest that simple software should help the introduction of e-Petitions, which will get a villager’s query answered in the Assembly by the Minister concerned. It could be routed through the Rajiv Internet Village kiosks coming up in the State.”
V.V.V. Satya, CEO of Vortex, said, “The National Informatics Centre has decided to offer the software to nine select members of Parliament for helping them monitor development initiatives in their constituencies.” In his address, Tarun Malik, Head of Microsoft’s Rural Computing, said, “Softrack would be part of the company’s IT initiative — SAKSHAM (self-sustaining), under which the company plans to roll out 50,000 kiosks over the next three years.”
e-Stamping in Maharashtra to curb stamp duty frauds
In order to curb stamp duty frauds, the Stock Holding Corp of India (SHCIL) has launched e-Stamping for legal documents in Maharashtra under mandate from the Government. Appointed as a Central Record Keeping Agency (CRA), the SHCIL has been authorised to undertake the build-operate-transfer project in the states, which are willing to join the stamping system as envisaged by it.
SHCIL has started initiating the process of making presentations to various state governments. The Maharashtra government has authorised SHCIL to act as a CRA to undertake the computerisation of Stamp Duty Administrative System.
In e-Stamping, online payment for stamp duty can be done either through a credit or a debit card. The said facility can also be availed through other payment mode of the nearest Authorised Collection Centre (ACC). After the payment is done, the certificate of stamp duty can be printed instantaneously for attachment to the legal document.
India’s DGS&D launches e-bidding
In its e-Governance initiative, the Directorate General of Supplies and Disposals (DGS&D), Government of India, has announced the launch of e-bidding for DGS&D rate contracts in an attempt make the process more transparent
while reducing procurement costs simultaneously. Jairam Ramesh, Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, said, “The e-Governance initiative would largely benefit small-scale industries as they would now be able to bid online for a contract and secure payments. This initiative has four components — e-purchase, e-tendering, e-inspection and e-payments.” The DGS&D handles orders worth INR350mn (US$7.73mn) annually.
Madhya Pradesh to have 8,000 IT kiosks
Kailash Vijayvargiya, Madhya Pradesh Information and Technology Minister, announced that altogether 8,000 IT kiosks would be set up across the State. Besides generating employment for 16,000 people, through the kiosks the people would be able to avail information regarding various departments, civic bodies, public services, forms and directives of the government.
Vijayvargiya said, “A lot of efforts are being made for enhancement of industrial centres and communication devices related to the IT Park through encouraging private sectors. Of this, the infrastructural work for IT Park at Indore has been completed and a well-known multinational company is developing software for it further. IT Park in Bhopal is also being developed.
A portal service of “mponline” is also being figured out.”