Indian Railways is the largest commercial network in the world under single management. Attainment of self-reliance in Railways is of vital importance for both strategic and economic reasons and has therefore been an important guiding principle for the Ministry of Railways. Accordingly, Railway Ministry over the years assiduously built up capabilities in R&D and Railway Production Plants and PSUs to provide with equipment, platforms and systems that they need for the smooth, efficient operation of Indian Railways in a more economic way. Government considers that the industrial and technological growth in the past decades has made it possible to achieve this objective by harnessing the emerging dynamism of the Indian industry along with the capabilities available in the academia as well as research and development Institutions. Consequently, after careful consideration and in consultation with all stakeholders, Railways have decided to put in place an Indigenization Policy for Railways.
The objectives of the Policy are to achieve substantive self reliance in the design, developmentand production of equipments, systems, platforms required for Railways in as early a time frame as possible; to create conditions conducive for the private industry to take a proactive role in this endeavour; to enhance potential of SMEs in indigenization and to broaden the Railways R&D base of the country. However, while pursuing the above objectives, the overall aim of ensuring an edge over potential adversaries at all times and ensure it in immediate terms as well as in sustainability is the need of the hour.
Major items of import are rolling stock involving new technology not available in India and their spares, machines/equipments not available indigenously and items of regular consumption where indigenous sources are not able to meet the requirement of Railway either in quantity or quality. Import is resorted to in inescapable circumstances only.
The expenditure incurred on import of Railway spare parts, coaches, engines and other related materials during each of the last three years is as flows:
09-10 Rs. 1303.46 Cr.
10-11 Rs. 1353.17 Cr.
11-12 Rs. 1288.64 Cr.
However, Research Design and Standards Organisation/Production Units are entrusted with the responsibility of developing indigenous sources. Owing to these efforts approximately 96% of goods purchases on Indian Railways are indigenous.
This information was given by the Minister of State for Railways Shri Kotla Jaya Surya Prakash Reddy in written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.