New policy in offing for investment in railways sector

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Sep 3 2014, 08:20am hrs
In a bid to tap private investment, the railways on Tuesday said some new policies are in the offing to attract funds as the government has simplified the procedure to remove hurdles in doing business with investors.

"We are framing new policies to attract private investment and it will be publicised soon," minister of state for railway Manoj Sinha said at a seminar.

Citing an example, he said for the development of a station, a complete data on total land area near it will be prepared through the geo-mapping system so that it can be utilised for commercial purpose.

The minister said that trains can also be run on public-private partnership (PPP) model for tourism purpose.

"Some tourist trains in religious circuits can also be run by private players. Whether it's a train for Tirupati or Patna Sahib, one can decide on the private venture with railway support," he said.

He said railways have finalised five PPP models. "We have prepared five PPP models for the industry. You can work in station development, freight terminal, port connectivity or new line as these areas are open for PPP investments." On FDI in the rail sector, he said, "Now 100% FDI is allowed in railways. Barring operation, FDI is allowed in eight areas, including high-speed, dedicated freight line and suburban trains."

Emphasising on transparency, Sinha said, "It is the prime criteria in private investment."

Admitting that there are "hurdles" in private investment, Sinha said, "Several steps have been taken in the recent past to decentralise the system and all remaining hurdles will be removed in a month."

"Even for construction of rail overbridge (ROB) or rail underbridge (RUB), designs used to be approved at the board level. Now, we have empowered the zones to take decisions and execute them at zonal levels," he said.