IR Considers PLI Scheme to Promote Local Production of Train Components

PLI Initiative Targets Wheels, Brakes, and More for Self-Reliance in Railway Sector.

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NEW DELHI (Metro Rail News): Indian Railways is planning to introduce a productions-linked incentive (PLI) scheme to encourage local production of important train components like wheels, brakes, and transmission systems for Vande Bharat train and Linke Hofmann Busch (LHB) sets. Currently, a lot of these parts are bought from other countries. The plan is to make more of these parts in India itself.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Railways had looked into ways to make more of these parts in India. But because of the COVID pandemic, those plans were put on hold. The Railway Board is now seeking a more detailed study to reduce imports, with the goal of implementing the findings by the end of 2023-24. This new study will not only help in reducing the need for imports but also attract private companies to invest in this area.

According to officials, the expected budget for this scheme is around Rs 800-1,200 crore spread over three years. It will mainly be used to boost the manufacturing of wheels, axles, braking systems, locomotives, and track machines. Indian Railways has already taken steps in the past few years to reduce imports. For example, around 85 percent of the required signaling systems are now made in India.

Indian Railways will soon invite companies to discuss the details of this scheme. The government will provide output-linked incentives to companies for making products that are usually imported.

In the past, Indian Railways used to buy forged wheels and axles from other countries like China and Europe. But now, it is working on making these parts in India. Railways has given an order to a consortium of Ramakrishna Forgings– Titagarh Wagons to make 1.54 milllion forged wheels.

The Ministry official noted that they are exploring various countries, including Russia, Japan, France, and East European nations, to meet demands until domestic production reaches adequate levels.

“In 2020, Indian Railways procured components including axles from CRRC Datong Co, wheels from Taizhong Hong Kong International (worth $4.47 million and $26.7 million respectively), and axles worth $3 million from CRRC Yangtze Tongling. Additionally, axles worth $10.84 million were imported from CRRC Datong.”

Notably, a portion of these imports also comprised specialized components required for locomotives, coaches, and signalling telecom equipment. These components were imported due to limited availability and quality concerns within India, as detailed in the national transporter’s annual report.

Overall, Indian Railways is actively pursuing strategies to bolster the domestic production of essential train components. The goal is to ensure the self-reliance of the railway sector in India.

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