Railway minister lists four new ways to mobilise resources
Railway Minister D.V. Sadananda Gowda Tuesday listed four new ways to mobilise resources to upgrade and expand projects in his maiden budget.
According to Gowda, the cash-strapped railways will mobilise resources for infrastructure creation and upgradation through the funds of the railways' state-run public sector companies (PSUs).
The minister further said that large private investments, including foreign funds, will be attracted into the sector.
The fund inflows for modernisation of railway infrastructure will also be generated through promoting public-private partnership (PPP) models.
The minister added that a planned tax holiday scheme which will incentivise investments for railways projects that have a long gestation period will also be promoted.
Currently, the Indian Railways is facing a huge cash crunch of Rs.26,000 crore amidst a decline in growth in passenger earnings.
In the interim budget, Mallikarjun Kharge, the then railway minister, had set a revenue target of Rs.1.65 lakh crore that included Rs.1.06 lakh crore from goods tariffs and Rs.45,255 crore from passenger fares and the balance from other sources.
Recently, the new government increased railway passenger fares by 14.2 percent and freight carriage charges by 6.5 percent. However, it will need more funds from international lenders to finance long gestation projects.
(Posted on 08-07-2014)