Headlines August 23, 2020
India cancels tender for trains after bid from Chinese joint venture
India has cancelled a tender for making 44 semi-high speed “Vande Bharat” trains. This was announced by the Railway Ministry. A fresh tender will be floated within a week and preference will be given to Centre’s Make In India programme.
“Tender for manufacturing of 44 nos of semi high speed train sets (Vande Bharat) has been cancelled. Fresh tender will be floated within a week as per Revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order,” tweeted the Railway Ministry.
The move to cancel the tender is a big setback for China. This is because a Chinese joint venture, CRRC Pioneer Electric (India) Pvt Ltd, was the only foreign bidder among the six contenders to supply 44 sets of semi-high speed train.
The joint venture was formed between China-based CRRC Yongji Electric Company Ltd and Gurugram-based Pioneer Fil-Med Pvt Ltd in 2015.
The railways is keen to ensure that a domestic firm takes the tender. After a Chinese joint venture became he frontrunner it decided to cancel the project.
The Indian Railways’ Integral Coach Factory in Chennai had floated the tender on 10 July. The other five bidders were Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd, Bharat Industries, Sangrur, Electrowaves Electronics Pvt Ltd, Medha Servo Drives Pvt Ltd, and Powernetics Equipment India Pvt Ltd, according to the Ministry.
India has tightened trade ties with China after the violent face-off in eastern Ladakh in June. India lost 20 soldiers, while Chinese casualties were over 40.
India has responded in many ways from using diplomatic pressure with friendly nations to banning imports of Chinese products such as solar power equipment. This includes blocking 59 Chinese apps including TikTok which had a massive user base in India.
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