Industry representatives said the certification is mandatory to export rail components and also for indigenising cutting-edge rail rolling stock that are being imported.
President of Railway Suppliers Association (Rasa) S Surulivel said only if they get Iris certification, they can aspire to export products.
Despite its size, Indian Railways depends on imports for modernization and metro trains. “If Indian industries get Iris certified, we can manufacture the imported items here. This will reduce the expense for railways significantly,” said Rasa secretary M Raveendran, who is also president of the Coimbatore Compressor Industries Association (Cocia).
The Iris registration fee is 395 or around Rs 35,000. The Centre should announce a scheme for micro and small railway suppliers to bear the cost, the representatives said. The association has sought a subsidy of 80%.
Surulivel said the Centre gives 75% subsidy for MSMEs to get ISO certified and it could do the same for Iris certification. Raveendran added that the Centre provides 80% subsidy under the Lean Manufacturing Competitiveness Scheme (LMCS) for MSMEs, and Iris certification can be subsidised on the same lines.
As per the Unife data, of the 2,085 Iris certified railway firms, only 52 are in India, while China has 1,156. “The government should target to produce at least 200 Iris certificate holders from small industry within two years,” a Rasa representative said.
They have sent a representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.