Asia’s second-largest rail transporter, the Indian Railway has taken another major step to ease the procurement system in its network. As per the Railways’ existing procurement norms, identified safety and critical items where quality is of paramount importance, are procured from vendors approved by its nominated vendor approving agencies for the item.
The Railways has recently decided that a vendor-approved for an item by any of its approving agencies shall be considered as an approved vendor by all railway units for that particular item.
This decision shall not only save the time and effort of vendors by significantly doing away with the need for approaching multiple approving agencies for participating in tenders of railway units but would also encourage competitiveness in public procurement, making it more economical and efficient.
This shall also help in promoting better utilisation of the manufacturing capacity of the industry to encourage ‘Make in India’.
Earlier, vendor-approved at one establishment was not automatically eligible to be considered for procurement at other establishments. Consequently, they had to apply for approval at multiple establishments for consideration.
The country’s railway sector is expected to become the third-largest globally by 2022. Indian Railways had announced a massive investment plan of Rs 8.56 trillion over five years from FY2016-20 towards modernisation. The progress on projects such as high-speed rail, Dedicated Freight Corridors (DFCs).
The Railways has also initiated a move to rope in private operators for certain functions.