India, USA discuss cooperation in railways

The roundtable discussion involved a delegation of leading USA-based companies working in the area of railway construction, maintenance and Information Technology

August 13, 2018

The USA delegation at the meeting comprising 13 companies, focussed on railway construction, maintenance and IT, was led by USA Ambassador to India, Kenneth I Juster

During the meeting, presentations made by the companies covered energy efficiency, railway infrastructure, use of cloud computing to boost passenger reservation and service

Railways Minister said that issues related to fast-track clearance at RDSO, third party certification and clarity on GST would be examined and addressed by the Railway Board

Government is aiming a three-year programme for works and procurement to augment Indian Railways, which moves 23 million travellers and 3 million tonnes of freight daily

Government of India on August 13 held a roundtable meeting with a delegation of leading USA-based companies working in the area of railway construction, maintenance and Information Technology. The meeting, led by on the Indian side by Railways Minister, Piyush Goyal, and Ashwani Lohani, chairman of Railway Board, discussed cooperation in augmenting railway services and infrastructure. Meanwhile, the USA delegation comprising 13 companies was led by USA Ambassador to India, Kenneth I Juster. Leading officials from the USA Embassy who are related to US Commerce Services and US Trade Development Agency (USTDA) also took part in the discussion.

During the meeting, presentations made by the companies covered a wide range of products and services such as energy efficiency, anti-corrosion coating, fire protection, use of high-speed internet and cloud computing for passenger reservation and services. Infrastructural facilities such as composite sleepers for bridges, turn-out Lap switches, road crossings, tunnels, wagon-leasing, rolling stocks manufacture, track laying and maintenance machines, signaling, rail-flaw detection, modern method of construction of bridges were also discussed. Mr Goyal said that the proposals will be screened to match Indian Railways’ requirement at competitive pricing.

The Railways Minister added that ‘Make in India’ would make many of the products competitive in India. Low cost and high precision manufacturing in India, backed by an array of favourable resources, can help foreign companies set up profitable operation in India catering to global clientele. Mr Goyal also said that the issues raised by US companies in respect of fast-track clearance at RDSO, third party certification and clarity on GST would be examined by the Railway Board and resolved/clarified. The Government is aiming a three-year programme for works and procurement to augment Indian Railways, which moves 23 million travellers and 3 million tonnes of freight daily.