Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Saturday emphasised the need to increase the participation of local vendors in the procurement process of the railways to promote Make in India products and boost the Atmanirbhar Bharat initiative.
The Minister made the remarks while reviewing the steps to promote ‘Make in India’ products in the procurement process of the Indian Railways as well as the government of India.
During the meeting, Goyal urged for measures to generate confidence in the industry about corruption-free and transparent procurement process in the railways.
“It was also decided that local content clause in the procurement should be such that the Railways may get more bids from local vendors or suppliers. This will also give a boost to mission Atmanirbhar Bharat,” a Railways Ministry statement said.
Active support of the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) was sought to make suitable policy revisions, if required, to facilitate the efforts in this direction, it said.
It was felt that encouragement needs to be given to such vendors who can supply higher locally-manufactured material, it said, adding there will be a system to create a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) section and a helpline number so that vendors may get clarity on various issues relating to the procurement process.
A detailed presentation was made by Railway Board Member (Materials Management) on boosting ‘Make in India’ and steps being taken to procure through Government e-Marketplace (GeM) along with the progress made.
The review meeting was attended by Minister of State of Railways Suresh C. Angadi, Railway Board Members, CEO/GeM and representatives of DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce.
A need for devising strategies for further increasing the participation of Indian service providers and component manufacturers was felt. Government e-Marketplace is a highly innovative idea in public procurement across the globe.
Goyal emphasised the need for procurement of goods and services of approximately Rs 70,000 crore by the railways on GeM platform to open up the market to industry even at remote places and especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
The railways, one of the largest procurement agencies of the government, is integrating its procurement systems with GeM to use its full potential.
The department shared the timelines for integration of the railways’ e-Procurement system with GeM. The Railway emphasised the need to have a seamless integration of the two systems eliminating the need for any manual interface.
During the meeting, ways and means to create a corruption-free public procurement environment in India were discussed in which the Ministry of Railways, DPIIT and GeM have extremely important roles to play.
The need for engagement of industry for developing more indigenous vendors to participate in the growth journey of the Indian Railways was emphasised in the deliberations.
During the presentation, it was decided that the railways would work more towards having a user-friendly single-step web-based vendor interface for all its activities.
The website should, transparently, provide every interested vendor a clear idea of how to do business with the Indian Railways. The website should have all relevant information to generate confidence in the corruption-free and transparent environment in the Indian Railways.