The top MSME body in the country, FISME, along with Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) has suggested measures like 100% development orders to new firms, reduction in registration fees from Rs. 25000 to Rs 15000 by RDSO etc to the Railway Ministry in order to facilitate entry of MSMEs in Railway procurements.
The Federation of India Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) recently participated in A meeting with Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu. The meeting was held to discuss ways for development of MSEs in Railways and attended by MSE vendors, RDSO and officers from Stores, Mechanical, Engineering, Signal & Telecom and Electrical Directorates of Railway Board.
The main issues pointed by FISME were – 100% development orders to new firms; 20% reservation of regular orders for new firms; Reduction registration fees from Rs. 25000 to Rs 15000 by RDSO; and Reduction in number of documents from 22 to 5 by RDSO.
MSEs raised issues related to payments, lack of digitization in bill submission and inordinate delay caused in getting vendor approval from RDSO due to long procedure and paper work.
Prabhu mentioned that Indian Railways have been proactively implementing various initiatives for its modernization, vendor Development’ and vendor Engagement’. One such initiative was a launch of “Digital Contracting” in the conference on Digitization of Railway Supply Chain held in April’2017.
He highlighted the creation of two organizations namely “SRESTHA” (Special Railway Establishment for Strategic Technology & Holistic Advancement), which will be responsible for long term research for improving the overall functioning of Indian Railways and “SUTRA” (Special Unit for Transportation Research and Analytics) for carrying out detailed analytics leading to optimized investment decisions and operations.
The Minister advised MSES for giving suggestion to make these two organizations functional properly.
He directed Stores DG/RS to make a list of issues and workable suggestions arising out of the discussion and he may be apprised off the action plan to resolve these issues.
The industry suggested creating a separate cell for vendor development in Railway Board and including few retired Railway officials, Industry Members, persons from academia and existing Sr. Railway officials to monitor MSE vendor development.
In the suggestion made by FISME and SIDBI, the two asked for reservation of 20% items for new vendors only. However, It was clarified that there is already a provision of developmental order of 20% of net procurable quantity on new vendors.
The MSE vendors sought more transparency in tender decision making and timely release of payment.
The Railway officials informed that Railways is in the process of digitization of its entire supply chain process. There is now a Single web portal for online tendering and procurement activities (www. ireps.gov.in).
“100% digital tendering, e-bidding and tender evaluation is done on this Single Web Portal. 100% letter of Acceptance in digitized form is issued & email alerts on bid acceptance are sent to successful bidders Further, we are in the process of 100% Digitisation of Stores Bills,” said the Railway officials present in the meeting.
Further, in case a tender is cancelled, the industry demanded that the reasons for tender cancellation or withholding need to be available online to maintain transparency.
Meanwhile, SIDBI presented the Scheme of “Revolving Fund for Technology Innovation (Srijan Scheme)” for supporting MSMEs towards development, upscaling, demonstration and commercialization of innovative technology based project with funding from TIFAC.
This scheme can be used by MSME vendors of Railways to promote new technology as well as developing technology for import substitution to create demonstrative effect.
SIDBI informed that they will be organizing vendor meets in five major locations in the country.
SIDBI also said that it would work jointly with Railways and leading industry associations in the country to disseminate information about the opportunities for MSMEs to work with Railways.
Source Link – Knn India