The Railways will launch shortly its redesigned e-tendering system with more user-friendly new features to facilitate digital participation of over 60,000 vendors.
Ushering in a new era by going paperless, the system envisages that bids are invited online and the entire process leading to award of a tender is done electronically.
Online refund of tender cost and earnest money deposit, the online bidder deregistration process, and integration with the payment gateways of more banks are currently underway in the Railways to make the system efficient and transparent, said a senior Railway Ministry official responsible for the e-system.
The redesigned e-tendering system, part of the complete digitisation of supply chain, will have a vendor interface module to benefit vendors with online vendor registration and inspection call and contract amendment process.
Besides, the system would facilitate auto-alerts, processes relating to acceptance of supplied material and its payments and also include vendor grievance redressal process, the official said.
The railway supply chain supports activities of production, asset acquisition, periodic overhaul and maintenance of rolling stock, tracks, stations, signalling and telecom network, among others.
Digitisation of the railway supply chain is designed towards achieving the objectives of transparency, global reach, efficiency, ease of doing business, removing entry barriers and enhanced competitiveness, the official said.
While several vendor-related processes and documents are also going to be digitised, efforts are also on to enable vendors to submit online bills and ensure seamless payment.
The digitised supply chain provides single window access for the entire supply chain process, 24x7 global and easy reach in real time, savings of time, cost and efforts, online payments for tender cost and earnest money deposit.
The official said digitisation of the railway supply chain began with e-tendering in its procurement and e-auction in its sale of scrap.
Currently, scrap material worth more than Rs 2,700 crore is sold through 100 per cent e-auctions annually.
While over 2,700 bidders have been registered for sale of scrap materials, more than 32,000 scrap lots are e-auctioned annually.
Payment towards earnest money deposit is collected through the e-payment gateway.