Economy

MSMEs seek Government support for acquiring IRIS Certification

L N Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on October 07, 2020

The Railway Suppliers Association (RSA) has urged the Government to introduce a scheme for small scale sector to enable them acquire the IRIS (International Railway Industry Standard) certification.

This certification would, besides enhancing the manufacturing competitiveness of the domestic players, help reduce the country’s dependence on import of such products, say manufacturers of rail rolling products.

Emphasising the need for such a scheme, S Surulivel, President, RSA, said “acquiring the IRIS certification is the need of the hour, especially as the Railways is gearing up to make giant strides with bullet trains, high speed trains and contemplating introduction of metro trains in every major city. Despite being the third biggest Railway in the world, Indian Railways, depends largely on MNCs for modernization. The rolling stock of bullet trains, high speed trains and metro trains are all imported; contribution by Indian companies is minimal.”

Association sources said that small manufacturers in India could ill-afford the certification process, training and audit fee cost. “The Government should consider subsidising the cost of the IRIS Certification process for the willing units, like the subsidy extended for lean manufacturing training,” said a member of the association.

While conceding that opportunities co-exist with challenges, the source said: “the training and certification would go a long way in improving on quality parameters and enhancing competitiveness. The IRIS certification scheme offered by the European Rail Industry association (UNIFE) would be a basic requirement for all small companies, willing to seize the opportunity. Rail Rolling stock manufacturing units like ICF have instructed their vendors to acquire IRIS certification to cope up with high quality demand.”

It is learnt that of the 2,083 IRIS certifications issued so far, only 52 exist in India, and a majority of these have been acquired by either MNCs or Government organisations.

China, on the other hand, holds close to 55 per cent of the total IRIS certifications, has its own IRIS approved certification body .

Published on October 07, 2020

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