New Delhi: In another blow to China, the Indian Railways has floated a new domestic tender for manufacturing 44 semi-high speed Vande Bharat’ train sets with an aim to push the government’s ‘Make in India’ agenda. As a result, only India-registered companies will participate and the minimum local component percentage required is 75, officials said on Monday. Also Read - 'Meri Saheli': Railways Launches Innovative Initiative For Security of Women Passengers in Trains

In August, the Railways had cancelled a global tender it had floated the month before. The decision was taken as  CRRC Pioneer Electric, in which China’s CRRC is a joint partner, was among the six candidates that had submitted financial bids. Also Read - Good News For Commuters as Railways Plans to Convert 181 Passenger Trains to Express Ones

As per the CRRC Pioneer Electric’s website, it is a joint venture of CRRC Yongji Electric Co. Ltd — a core subsidiary of the state-owned China Railway Construction Corporation — and India’s Pioneer Fil-Med Pvt ltd, set up in 2015. Also Read - Chhath Puja 2020: Railways Plans to Run 46 Special Trains For Festival | Check Complete List Here

“The revised tender is in line with the Government of India’s preference for the Make In India policy,” a Railway spokesperson said.

“The minimum local content percentage has been revised to 75%. It is the first big tender under revised DPIIT norms of Atma Nirbhar Bharat having at least 75 % domestic components. This tender is now a domestic tender. It shall be local (indigenous) tender in which a two-stage reverse auction shall take place,” the spokesperson said.

The August cancellation had come in the backdrop of rising tensions between India and China. The Railways had then said a fresh bid will be put out as per the revised Public Procurement (Preference to Make in India) order.

Here’s what we know about the new tender:

– The tender is for three-phase propulsion, control and other equipment along with the bogies for the 44 train sets.

– A pre-bid meeting for the tender will be held on September 29 and the tender will be opened on November 17.

– Train sets shall be manufactured at Integral Coach Factory, Chennai; Rail Coach Factory, Kapurthala; Modern Coach Factory, Raebareli.

– The Indian bidders for the project, estimated to cost about Rs 1,500 crore, are Indian PSU Bharat Heavy Electricals, the Hyderabad-based Medha Group, the Himachal Pradesh-based Electrowaves Electronic Pvt Ltd, Powernetics Equipments Pvt Ltd and Bharat Industries.

– This is the first big tender under the DPIIT norm of the Centre’s Atma Nirbhar Bharat. Train sets will be manufactured at Chennai, Kapurthala and Raebareli.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had flagged off the maiden run of a Vande Bharat train on the New Delhi-Varanasi route on February 15, 2019. The second such train service between New Delhi and Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Katra was flagged off by Home Minister Amit Shah on October 3, 2019.

Earlier, the Railways had also cancelled a Rs 471-crore signalling contract of another Chinese firm and scrapped a tender for thermal cameras as again a Chinese firm was seen as a front-runner.