The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Wednesday approved the revised cost estimate of Rs 81,459 crore for the Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project, including land costs and financing plan. The revised cost estimate comprises construction cost of Rs 73,392 crore.
The project is being created for the exclusive movement of freight, which would spur economic growth.
While the 1,839-km Eastern DFC from Ludhiana to Dankuni is estimated to cost R26,674 crore, the construction of the 1,499-km Western DFC from Dadri to Jawaharlal Nehru Port will involve an expenditure of R46,178 crore.
Earlier, in March 2008, the CCEA had given its approval for the implementation of the Eastern and Western DFC projects with an expenditure of over R28,181 crore having so far been incurred on the same.
The approval for the revised cost estimate was essential for proceeding with project implementation and entering into commitments.
The land acquisition cost for the project will be R8,067 crore. This excludes the cost of the 534-km Sonnagar-Dankuni section proposed to be implemented through the public-private partnership (PPP) route.
Of the total requirement of R81,459 crore for the DFC projects, R76,143 crore is needed during project construction, as the railway ministry needs to pay the finance ministry interest of R5,316 crore during construction of the Western DFC after a moratorium period of 10 years.
For DFC, R52,347 crore would flow as debt from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and World Bank. Equity requirement from railway ministry (including land) for the project is R23,796 crore.
The entire western corridor is being funded by JICA while the eastern corridor from Mughalsarai to Ludhiana is being funded by the World Bank.
Nod to supply iron ore to Japan, South Korea
To help utilise surplus production of iron ore in the country, the Union cabinet on Wednesday approved the supply of 3.8 million tonne (mt) to 5.5 mt of high grade Indian iron ore per year till March 2018, primarily from the mines of the National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC), by Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation of India to Japanese and South Korean steel mills. In this regard, the cabinet cleared a proposal to renew the long-term agreement with Japanese and South Korean steel mills that has been in place for the last four to five decades.
These agreements will help continue this relationship and strengthen Indo-Japanese collaboration in several areas of mutual interest, including technology transfer, joint venture and investment, an official statement said.
The cabinet meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also gave its approval for signing of a memorandum of cooperation (MoC) between the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and the Japan Patent Office (JPO), to establish a framework for bilateral cooperation in the field of industrial property (IP).
The emphasis of the MoC is on capacity building, human resource development and awareness generation. The offices will implement a biennial action plan comprising cooperation projects and activities principally, on information sharing on IP protection systems and practices, cooperation in the area of examination — including utilisation of the examiner-exchange programme — cooperation in the scheme of the patent cooperation treaty, assistance in developing IP infrastructure, capacity building and awareness building for the general public.
Approval to set up six new IIMs
The cabinet on Wednesday approved the setting up of six new Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), taking the tally to 19.
The new IIMs, one each in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab, will commence their first academic session from 2015-16.
An official statement, issued after the meeting of the cabinet, said these IIMs will begin functioning from assigned temporary campuses and shift to their permanent sites after construction is completed.
“Each Institute will start with an intake of 140 students in the post-graduate programme (PGP) courses,” said the statement.