A merger of state-run trading firms MMTC and STC is on the cards and the matter is under process, Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu has said.
“That is something which is already on cards because STC unfortunately has become a sick company. Therefore, there are some measures which are being taken already and this matter is under process,” Prabhu said.
He said this while replying to a question whether the government is moving ahead on the proposal to merge Metals & Minerals Trading Corporation of India (MMTC) and State Trading Corporation (STC).
STC, Project & Equipment Corporation of India (PEC) and MMTC are under the administrative control of the ministry.
Earlier, the commerce ministry had commissioned a study to work out a new structure for three state-owned trading firms MMTC, STC and PEC.
While the government wholly owns PEC, it has about 90 per cent stake in MMTC and STC.
The merger of MMTC and STC would result in synergy of operations. MMTC and STC were created in 1963 and 1956, respectively. PEC Ltd was carved out of the STC in 1971-72.
According to industry observers, these state trading companies have lost their relevance as well as business following liberalisation.
MMTC used to be a canalising agency for import and export of non-ferrous metals and fertilisers. 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.
In 2016-17, MMTC incurred a loss of about Rs 30 crore. STC too reported a loss of Rs 16.5 crore in the last fiscal.