The commerce ministry is studying the work of its three undertakings - MMTC, STC and PEC, and it will take appropriate steps to protect the national interest, Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal has said.
On a question about whether the commerce ministry is planning to close these units, he said: "We are examining all options and will do what is in the national interest".
"We are studying the work that these three companies are doing and we will take appropriate steps to protect the national interest and protect the country's needs.We should not be wasting the scarce resources, which taxpayers pay," the minister told PTI. State Trading Corporation (STC) was set up in 1956 as a trading arm of the government to undertake trade with East European countries.
Project & Equipment Corporation (PEC) was incorporated as a subsidiary of STC in 1971 to handle the canalised business of export of railway and engineering equipment. It became an independent firm in 1997. Metals & Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) was created in 1963 as an independent entity on separation from STC, primarily to deal in exports of minerals and ores and imports of non-ferrous metals.
All three companies are under the administrative control of the commerce ministry. Further, when asked about the impact of the Russia-Ukraine conflict on the global economy, the minister said some food grain issues may arise in some parts of the world due to this.
"And in that case, India is ready to serve those countries with full compassion to ensure that they do not suffer," he said. Russia and Ukraine are key producers and exporters of wheat in the world.
India is in final talks to start wheat export to Egypt, while discussions are on with countries like China, Turkey, China and Iran to begin the outbound shipments of the commodity. When asked about investments from the UAE, he said that UAE is keen to increase investments in India.
Shares of MMTC were trading 1.01 per cent up at Rs 45.20 apiece on BSE in early trade, while STC climbed 0.15 per cent to Rs 97 per share.