Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Piyush Goyal, Chairman Railway Board, Ashwani Lohani, other Railway Board Members and senior officials participated in the India-US Roundtable discussion. The roundtable discussion with a high-level delegation of leading US companies working in the area of railway construction, maintenance and Information Technology was held in the Ministry of Railways on 13th August, 2018. The US delegation comprising 13 companies was led by US Ambassador to India H.E. Kenneth I. Juster. High-ranking US Embassy officials from US Commerce Services and US Trade Development Agency (USTDA) also participated.Presentations made by the companies covered a large range of products and services such as energy efficiency, anti-corrosion coating, fire protection, use of high-speed internet/cloud computing for Railway Passenger Reservation and passenger experience, 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, etc.Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Railways, Coal, Finance & Corporate Affairs, Shri Piyush Goyal, thanked the US Embassy and the companies for the excellent presentations and directed that a detailed examination of how they would meet our requirement at competitive costs be carried out.
He also impressed on the American delegation that Make-in-India would make many of the products competitive in India. It would also give them a platform for the global market. He also directed that the issues raised by US companies in respect of fast-track clearance at RDSO, third party certification and clarity on GST, etc. would be examined by Railway Board and resolved/clarified.The US Ambassador profusely thanked the Minister for Railways, Shri Piyush Goyal for the prompt action taken on his request to give a platform to US technology companies working in the area of Rail Transport to showcase their expertise. He stressed the need for a continuous dialogue to advance the common interests in finding innovative solutions to technological problems in Railways. He also highlighted the need for adoption of a life-cycle cost so that durable and innovative technologies can be incentivized.Chairman Railway Board thanked the participants and assured that an indicative three-year programme for Works and Procurement would be attempted by Railways. This would help the industry to make their preparation in advance. Annual Works/Procurement Programme would, however, be subject to annual budgetary cycle.It was agreed that a follow-up meeting at a later date will be held on the suggestions received.