Railways Minister says he is getting good response from states on partnering for railway projects
New Delhi: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu’s idea to partner with state governments for rail projects is making headway with the state governments that have signed pacts with the Centre making budgetary provisions for railway projects.
Recently the Maharashtra government has announced budgetary allocation for railways projects and the Haryana governor in his budget speech hinted of big railway investments.
Prabhu said he is getting good response from the states. “We have a comprehensive plan for transforming Indian Railways and we are trying to do this in the shortest possible time by involving multi-stakeholders,” Prabhu said while speaking at “Opportunities in Indian Railways—The scope for partnerships”at CII’s Annual Session 2016.
Elaborating on the challenge of providing a superior rail experience, rail minister emphasized on the need for exponential increase in capacity and continuous investments. He said that the government is making continuous efforts for partnerships as they are key to development of Indian Railways.
On the issue of financial viability, the minister stressed on the need for exploring various ways of augmenting non-rail revenue such as through monetizing of assets and redevelopment of stations. This will require involvement of private sector, multilateral organizations, non-government organisations, self-help groups and others in various areas of development.
“We are already in talks with the World Bank to form an international fund and many other investors are keen to join this. In fact, in this international fund, World Bank would be the anchoring this fund and it would help us to get funds for railways which has been in losses,” he said.