In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, China has been spearheading with its investments across the world. Getting involved in International companies at a time of global economic downfall, China is attempting to gain influence in various nations at substantially low investments. However, India, with its policy of ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’ under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is two steps ahead of this Chinese exploitation and has propagated the principle of self-reliance. Carrying forward these ideals, Minister of Railways, Piyush Goyal has very effectively kicked China out of Railways’ domestic project to place reliance on Indian firms.
The Indian Railways has disqualified a consortium consisting of a Chinese company and an Indian firm from the bidding for manufacturing of 44 Vande Bharat train sets, costing nearly Rs 1,800 crore. The company disqualified is called CRRC Pioneer Electric India, which is a joint venture between Beijing-based CRRC Yongji Electric and India’s Pioneer Fil-Med. The plant of the same is situated in Haryana.
Stating the reason for disqualification, Railways has cited non-compliance with the rules meant for neighbouring countries. The tender conditions had been changed to make it an indigenous tender which mandated minimum local content of 75%. No doubt, this move is to further give a leg-up to Modi Government’s focus on ‘Make in India’.
This move is in sync with the Indian Government’s crackdown on China and Chinese entities since the Galwan clashes. China had infringed upon India’s territory in May, which has not been taken too kindly by the Indian government. Along with a befitting military action, economically also, India has put curbs on China, causing them irreparable damage. Limiting reliance on China, India has identified alternative sources of imports from countries across the world. As a result of these pro-active measures, India’s imports from China have dropped down13% in the first 11 months of 2020, as compared to the previous year. This exhibits the Modi Government’s resolve to curb any sort of Chinese involvement and prioritise Make in India.
This decision of Minister Piyush Goyal is in line with the ‘Make in India’ policy. Now, with the exit of Chinese players in Vande Bharat Train Sets’ tender, two Indian valid bids are left. The two companies in the fray are Medha Servo Drives and Bharat Heavy Electricals. According to sources, Medha has put in a lower bid and thus, in line with the policy of accepting the lowest bid in a fair and transparent manner, is poised to win.