Railways to approach World Bank for Financial Assistance: Suresh Prabhu

New Delhi: Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Friday said that the World Bank would be approached for financial assistance to modernise the Indian railways. Prabhu spoke at the ‘Global Rail Convention-2015: Indian Railways on the fast track’ organised by the PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry here.

“Besides, borrowing from LIC (Life Insurance Corporation of India) to upgrade and modernise the railways, it would soon approach the World Bank for fiscal assistance to accomplish the job,” said Prabhu.

In line with its funding programme outlined in last month’s railway budget, insurance major LIC has committed Rs.150,000 crore for the development of various commercially viable projects.

The investment would be made through bonds issued by various railway entities such Indian Railways Finance Corporation (IRFC), beginning next fiscal.

Prabhu ruled out the possibility of privatisation of the Indian Railways and said that the government has sought India Inc’s participation to transform the railways.

“We would also organise to hire private capital and its efficient management skills to catapult railways in a PPP (public-private partnership) mode but will not let railways be privatised,” the minister added.

Railway Board Chairman A.K. Mittal said the conventional projects of the railways would be financed through budgetary support.

“Whereas necessary investments would be garnered through various institutional mechanisms to fund the newly announced projects in a time bound manner identified in the latest railways budget,” Mittal said.

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