Sadananda Gowda hints that Government may allow foreign capital in railways
Railway Minister, Devaragunda Venkappa Sadananda Gowda, on Sunday hinted that the government might allow foreign direct investment (FDI) in the railway sector.
Indian Railways plans to invest 643.05 billion rupees on new lines and other infrastructure in the next fiscal year, up 8.3 percent from a revised figure of 593.6 billion in the current fiscal year.
Gowda said the ministry needed funds to complete projects and modernization.
"We need more resource mobilization. From where we will get it? Certainly, we will get the resource from some other source. We are forced to get it and the modalities - how to get it - I will consult with the experts and then I will come back to you," Gowda said.
The government is considering a proposal to allow foreign direct investment in a bid to free up bottlenecks.
Once cleared by the Union cabinet, the measure would let foreign investors fully own new passenger services in suburban areas, high speed tracks, and connections to ports, mines and power installations.
The minister said he would seek assistance of Elattuvalapil Sreedharan, credited with building world class Delhi Metro.
"I will seek the opinion of the Prime Minister of the country. I will go with a list to him and I will certainly form a team that will certainly give a boost to my future course of action. Certainly, hundred percent," Gowda added.
The railways remain India's chief mode of long-distance travel, despite a poor safety record of more than 2,200 deaths in railway accidents in the last decade.
(Posted on 01-06-2014)