Railway Ministry reiterates it is committed towards MSMEs, sector say things still 'complicated'
New Delhi, Feb 23 (KNN) In a bid to reassure that the government is committed towards facilitating public procurement benefits to the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), the Railway Ministry during ‘Suppliers Samvad’ said that it will continue to focus on increasing participation of MSMEs.
“Indian Railways’ efforts are not limited to just digitizing its Supply Chain, but has taken various initiatives for development of indigenous vendors and the MSME sector. It will keep focusing towards increasing participation of indigenous suppliers especially MSMEs. It is very prompt in implementing any policy that envisions benefits to vendors”, the Ministry said in a release.
Talking to KNN, H.S. Chopra, Managing Director, Data Technosys (Engineers) Pvt Ltd said that while the government have time and again reiterated the statement, things for the sector are still complicated.
Commenting on whether the process of e-tendering has helped the MSMEs, Chopra said that to an extent it has facilitated some ease.
“Earlier even after filing the tender, we were asked to submit the payment in physical form, but now the government has introduced RTGS system leaving less scope for manipulation”, he said.
He however raised that the e-tendering process has its own discrepancies and problems.
While earlier the tender document had all the information required to file the tender, now with it gong online, there are times when not all information is visible on portal easily, because of which many bids render disqualified, he said.
Citing one of the case in which he faced similar problem, Chopra said that his firm applied for a tender following which the department issued a corrigendum about which he was not given any information, because of which his request wasn’t entertained.
Listing another concern, Chopra said that despite the tendering process becoming digital, there is no standard program on which it runs.
Different versions of Java are required to access the tender page of different departments whereas a computer can host only one form of Java at once.
“This either means that we need different computers for different sites or each time we need to install and reinstall another version, and not every vendor is well educated to do so”.
He suggested that the government must form a high level body to look into these loopholes in order to ensure actual ease of doing business for the sector.
Earlier, to disseminate the information on nitiatives and to have open house discussion with its vendors, covering above areas and formulate plan and strategy to meet future challenges, Ministry of Railways organized “Suppliers’ Samvad – Journey towards Digitisation, Transparency & Ease of Doing Business” in association with RITES Ltd. and The Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM).
To mark the occasion Union Minister of Railways & Coal Shri Piyush Goyal also launched Digital Receipt Note, Receipted Challan & Digital Bill Submission to improve transparency & Ease of Doing Business.
Minister of State of Railways & Minister of State of Communications (I/C) inaugurated the Suppliers’ Samvad organized by Ministry of Railways. Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Ashwani Lohani, other Railway Board Members, senior officials of Railway Board and representatives from ASSOCHAM were also present on the occasion. (With PIB Inputs) (KNN/DA)