New Delhi: Inviting private investment, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said a transparent system is being put in place to facilitate it and moves are afoot to revamp the ministry’s public-private-partnership (PPP) cell, while also reiterating that Railways will have emerge financially strong to implement many socially-desirable projects as part of its socio-obligatory role to fulfill people’s aspirations in different geographies.
He ruled out privatisation of railways but said private capital is required to improve the services of the public transporter and make it financially strong.
“All businessmen are also stakeholders of it. You bring ideas and investment in railways to make it better and financially strong,” Prabhu said while addressing global rail convention organised by PHDCCI.
“Railways can transform India and together we can make it,” he added.
He said railways is making the system transparent for private participation in rail projects.
Railways has opened for 100 per cent FDI more than a dozen areas including station development, installation of bio-toilets, setting up of laundries and cleaning of trains and stations.
“We do not want Railways to be privatised but we want private capital in rail projects,” the minister said.
To attract private investment, railways has set up a committee to suggest ways for revamping its PPP cell.
“We are also taking help of DIPP (Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion) and NITI Aayog to formulate a mechanism for private investment in railways in a transparent manner,” Prabhu said. He said when railways becomes financially strong, it can implement many socially-desirable projects.
Referring to aspects like passenger satisfaction and safety, he said these are important issues which are being addressed.
Taking post shots at his predecessors without naming anybody, Prabhu said “there should be not only project announcements, it should be implemented also. All announcements made in the Rail Budget 2015-16 will be implemented.”