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India eyes FDI in railways

Posted on Jan 27 2014 | IANS

Bangalore, Jan 27 : India is set to open its state-run railways for foreign direct investment (FDI) to expand its network and modernise its operations, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said here Monday.

"We are looking at opening up FDI in railways, while it has been increased in the defence sector to 49 percent from 26 percent with technology transfer," Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of a trade meet.

As one of the world's largest transport networks, covering 65,000 km and 7,500 stations, the railways ferries 25 million passengers daily in about 11,000 trains across the country.

A top official was quoted recently in a section of the media that the government was open to 100 percent FDI in railways and looking for about USD 10 billion FDI over the next five years to improve and expand its infrastructure, spanning suburban corridors, high-speed trains and freight corridors.

"We are also considering liberalising the construction sector further and allowing FDI in the realty sector," Sharma said after inaugurating the three-day partnership summit, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

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