One of the main functions of the Salt Commissioner’s Organization is arranging equitable distribution of salt in the country.  In coordination with Railways Distribution and Movement of salt from production centers to consuming states is planned by Salt Commissionerate.  Any salt manufacturer can transport salt by rail for human or industrial consumption.  However there is a nationwide ban on sale of non-iodised salt for human consumption.  Only Iodised salt can be booked by rail for human consumption.

             The Combine Average Salt Production in Gujrat (76%), Tamil Nadu (12%) and Rajasthan (8%) is 96% of the total salt produce in the country. The rest 4 per cent of production comes from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Orissa, Karnataka, West Bengal, Goa, Himachal Pradesh, Diu & Daman.  Only Gujarat, Tamil Nadu and Rajasthan produces salt surplus to their requirement and cater the requirement for edible and industrial consumption of other States/Union Territories all over the country. Hence it is imperative that salt, being an essential commodity, reaches every nook and corner of the country regularly in time to prevent any scarcity of salt in the country.

              About 57 per cent of salt for human consumption moves by rail and the rest by road.  As regards industrial consumption, 89 per cent of the movement takes place by road, 7 per cent by rail and the rest 4 per cent by coastal shipment.

             Railway Board under its office memorandum No.2005/TT-III/12/7 New Delhi, Dt. 17.1.2006 had introduced simplification of procedure for registration of indents of salt rakes with effect w.e.f. 1-04-06.  No indent for human consumption salt rake will be accepted without the valid certificate issued by the Salt Commissioner or his authorized agents. The condition of above certificate was however relaxed by Railway Board Office Memorandum No. 2005/TT-III/12/7 dated 24.5.2006, stating therein that “Forwarding note detailing the particularls with an endorsement/countersignation by the Salt Commissioner or his authorized agent(s) will also be accepted for placement of indents”. Indents for industrial salt need not have any such certificate.  There will be no piecemeal movement of salt.

             A copy of the office memorandum No.2005/TT-III/12/7 New Delhi, Dt. 17.1.2006 issued by the Railways regarding the procedure for registration of indents of salt rakes is appended below (Annexure I).

             A copy of the Guidelines issued by the Salt Commissionerate for countersignature of indents for human consumption is also appended below (Annexure – II).

             Movement of salt to North Eastern States (except Meghalaya), Sikkim, West Bengal and Orissa (partly) is planned under quarterly programmes and issued in consultation with State Governments.   State Governments of then states prepare a list of nominees authorizing them to procure iodised salt for human consumption every quarter and forward it to Salt Commissioner, Jaipur. In respect of salt iodisation units who are granted permission in consuming states, movement of common salt for iodisation at their units is allowed and programmed.  Accordingly quarterly programmes are drawn and communicated to Field Officers of Salt Department/Railways in Production Centres for facilitating movement of iodised salt as per programme drawn.  These programmes provide for higher priority “C” Indent for preferential supply.

              In respect of movement of salt to other States, Deputy Salt Commissioner of the Salt Department draw quarterly programmers under Priority “C” from various production sources under their jurisdiction to consuming States. The Internal distribution of wagon is done on prorata bases among salt producers based on the stock held by them on a specified date (30th June in respect of Salt Gujrat Salt Manufacture)  In these programmes Wagon Quota Distribution is made to the Salt Manufacturers based on the stock available with them. In respect of Rajasthan it is distributed to the iodised salt producers based on that approved iodisation capacity.

As regards refined iodised salt for human consumption any refined salt producer can move it by rail under priority  “D” after countersignature of the indent by authorized officer of Salt Department.

Annexure I

Government of India (Bharat Sarkar)
Ministry of Railways (Rail Mantralaya)
(Railway Board)


No.2005/TT-III/12/7                                                                                                                                          New Delhi, Dt.  17.1.2006


 Sub : Simplification of procedure for registration of indents of salt rakes.

           The undersigned is directed to say that the attention of the Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) has been engaged to over come the bottlenecks and delays in the process of registration of indents for salt rakes by the State Nominee/Salt Traders.

            In the  present days  of liberalization  of  policies, Ministry of Railways (Railway Board) has decided that the following guidelines may be followed in respect of registration of indents for salt rakes.

There will be no requirement of issue of any Zonal Scheme for movement of salt or sponsorship of salt traffic by the Salt Commissioner’s Office to the Railway Board. All movement of salt will normally take place under priority ‘D’ of Preferential Traffic Order of Indian Railways.
However, to get a higher priority for the movement of salt, Salt Commissioner or his zonal offices can submit a programme to zonal railways which on approval by the Zonal Railways, will take place under priority ‘C’ of the Preferential Traffic Order of Indian Railways.

All indents for salt for human consumption, be accompanied by a certificate from the office of Salt Commissioner or his authorized agents, specifying the following :-
    nature and category of salt – iodised – non iodised, refined or non-refined etc.

                   b)    quantity of salt to be loaded ;
                   c)    loading and unloading stations ;

    name of the party ;
    period under which indents are to be placed ;
No indent for human consumption salt rake will be accepted without the valid certificate issued by the Salt Commissioner or his authorized agents.

Indents for industrial salt need not have any such certificate.

There will no piecemeal movement of salt

It is proposed to introduce the above procedure/system for sponsored traffic of indenting and loading of salt traffic with effect from 1.4.2006 (as the current Zonal Scheme is valid up to 31.3.2006) and in case of industrial salt with immediate effect.

                Instructions may please be issued to all concerned and acknowledge receipt.

Note:- Forwarding Note detailing the above particulars with an endorsement/countersignature by the Salt Commissioner or his authorized agent (s) will also be accepted for placement indents.”

 (  R.D. Tripathi  )
Executive Director, Traffic Trans (S)
                                                                                Railway Board

The Secretary,
Ministry of Commerce and Industry,
Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion,
Udyog Bhavan,New Delhi.


The Ministry of Railways, Railway Board, New Delhi in their O.M. No.2005/TT-III/12/7 dated 17.1.2006  have issued fresh guidelines for registration of indents for the movement of salt. According to this OM, their is no requirement of issue of Zonal Scheme for movement of salt or sponsorship of salt traffic by the Salt Commissioner to the Railway Board ; however to get higher priority for the movement of salt, Salt Commissioner can chalk out programme for the movement of salt to the various states from the salt manufacturing centers. Similarly Railways have decided that there is no need to issue programme for the movement of industrial salt by rail.

Accordingly, it has been decided that all Regional Officers would chalk out quarterly programme for the movement of ordinary non refined iodised salt or non refined salt for iodisation units for edible purposes under priority ‘C’ of the Preferential Traffic order of Railways and request the concerned Zonal Railways to approve programme for the acceptance of indents at various loading stations for the supply of wagons in terms of rakes. In case of Rajasthan region programme would continue to be issued with the approval of Deputy Salt Commissioner (NIDDCP), Jaipur. The programme for the movement of salt to N.E. States, Sikkim, West Bengal & Orissa (partly) where Nominee System is prevalent would be issued with the approval of Salt Commissioner.

On our request, the Ministry of Railways have made further changes in their letter dated 24.5.2006 according to which a declaration on the forwarding note by the consigner indicating the information prescribed in their O.M. dated 17.1.2006 duly countersigned by the Salt Officer is sufficient to accept indents. Further, their letter dated 29.5.2006 it has been stated that graded concession in freight rates of ordinary non refined salt meant for human consumption granted vide their circular dated 24.1.2006 has been allowed based on the Forwarding Note countersigned by the Salt Department.

It has been observed that different procedures are being followed in different regions for countersigning indents. It is therefore felt necessary to issue fresh guidelines for the sake of uniformity. Accordingly, in super cession to all previous instructions following guidelines are issued which should be followed by all concerned to facilitate movement of edible salt :


There is no need to issue any programme for movement of industrial salt. The Local Officers are not required to countersign forwarding note for movement of industrial salt. However a watch to be kept on registration of indents and details to be intimated to Salt Commissioner ate immediately.


 Movement of refined/vacuum and other branded salt would move under priority ‘D’. The local officer should countersign declaration given by the refinery/vacuum salt manufacturer registered with the Salt Department on forwarding notes only after verifying the quality etc. It should not be in the form of a separate letter addressed to the Railways etc.


The Regional Officer should issue quarterly programme in form of rakes consisting of 40 boxes covered wagons at least one week before the commencement of that quarter i.e. programme for the period ending 30th September should be issued before 22nd June. This would enable Zonal Railways to issue instructions to their local officer and indents for supply of wagon could be placed on the first day of that quarter.


On receipt of communication for the allotment of rakes at various loading stations for a particular month/quarter from the Regional Office, the concerned Local Officers shall immediately distribute the wagons amongst the salt manufacturers/iodised salt manufacturers of the loading station as per practice in vogue and exhibit the same on the notice board. This would provide opportunity to the salt manufacturer to place indent on the first day of the month if they so desire. The manufacturers shall place the indents with Railways with in a period of three days of countersigning of indents or five days before the last date of acceptance of indents, which ever is earlier.


On receipt of the forwarding notes from the manufacturers, the countersigning authority, shall draw samples from the iodised salt stock of the concerned manufacturers and ensure that the entire quantity of salt for which indents have been countersigned is checked and conforms to the quality standard laid down under P.F.A. rules before loading in to wagons.


The countersigning authority should ensure that the Forwarding Note contains all the relevant particulars mentioned in Railway Board circulars dated 17.1.2006 or subsequent amendment made if any.


If any of the manufacturers to whom wagon quota is allotted, does not turn up before the stipulated date for countersignature of indents or does not register it with in the prescribed limit, his share of wagon quota may be distributed amongst the rest of the manufacturers attached to that loading station. In case of state nominees, where two or more parties are clubbed to form a rake, it may be distributed among the remaining parties of that clubbed rake as indicated in the programme approved by the Salt Commissioner.


The Local Officer should ensure that all relevant information pertaining to quality and quantity of salt, batch no., date/month of manufacture etc. as communicated to the iodisation plant holder while according permission for commercial manufacture of iodised salt, are printed on the HDPE Bags, used for packing of iodised salt.


So far as movement of salt under sponsored programme is concerned, the terms and conditions stipulated in the respective programme should be scrupulously followed.


Salt samples may also be drawn at the time of loading of the rakes and analyzed immediately for checking the quality of salt being loaded. In case that salt is found to be sub-standard, the Chief District Medical Officer of the concerned district should be informed by telegram/fax about the movement of sub-standard iodised salt to the district, for necessary action endorsing a copy of the said letter to the concerned Circle/Divisional/Regional Officer. No indents to be further countersigned against the defaulter.


On receipt of report from the local officer a show cause notice for suspension/cancellation of registration may be issue by the Regional Officer to such delinquent salt producers. A suitable decision to revoke suspension of registration or its cancellation may be taken by the Regional officer after granting them hearing and recording a speaking order.


The local officers should furnish a monthly return to Regional office under intimation to the Salt Commissioner indicating therein numbers of indents countersigned by them, indents registered, wagons supplied, forfeited/cancelled and pending with oldest date of registration for ‘C’ and ‘D’ priorities as per the format .