PM to Railway Ministry: prepare Comprehensive Plan for facilitating FDI & Solar Power

New Delhi: The Prime Minister Narendra Modi has asked the Railway Ministry to come up with a comprehensive plan on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). He has also called for a solar power corridor along the India-Pakistan border.

These issues were deliberated in a review meeting of eight major infrastructure sectors chaired by Modi. These sectors include civil aviation, ports and inland waterways, railways, roads, telecom, power, coal, and new and renewable energy. This is part of a review meeting, after targets set on July 26 for the current fiscal year. Now, it has been decided that there will be review meetings every month.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Modi said the Railways has been granted clearance for 100 per cent FDI and, therefore, the Railways should come up with a comprehensive plan for facilitating FDI in the sector. The Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion (DIPP) has already notified norms for FDI in the Railways.

Identifying “monitoring” and “meeting deadline” as the key issues at the review meeting held on Friday, the PM asked infrastructure ministries to monitor the progress of projects through “identified” efficiency parameters on electronic reporting formats.

Sources said that the focus was on real time monitoring of project progress where the field officials can update the details on daily basis. “Poor monitoring has been one of the key reasons behind delay and cost overrun. The intention is to take necessary steps to resolve problems as soon as it comes to notice that the project is getting delayed,” said an official.

Reiterating his emphasis on renewable energy, Modi said two pilot projects of 5 Megawatts will be initiated to develop a solar-powered corridor along the India-Pakistan border, in the desert regions of Rajasthan and Gujarat. On the port sector, he said the Sagarmala project should lead to port-led development and become a major link element for his ‘Make in India’ vision, which envisages a quantum jump in India’s global trade.

Talking about road projects, he highlighted the need for developing a world-class utility facility along new road projects. This will help not just in the clean India project, but will also bring about a paradigm shift in India’s global perception. Referring to his vision for solid waste management and waste water management in 500 towns through the PPP model, the Prime Minister said bio-energy would be a vital element of this vision.

Monitoring

He emphasised the importance of monitoring the progress of infrastructure development through efficiency parameters which have been identified for each of the sectors. He said Ministries should monitor them on electronic reporting formats. He also asked the Ministries to take note of initiatives undertaken by the State Governments as well as public sector undertakings and various other countries while monitoring the progress of infrastructure sectors.

According to the statement, all the infrastructure sectors had reported significant improvement in performance over the last four months, as compared to the previous year.

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