Indian Railways to be highly profitable in coming 5-6 years, says Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw

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November 12, 2021 2:03 PM

On Indian Railways' financial position, the Union Minister said its balance sheet depended largely on the cargo it handles. In the last seven years, Indian Railways has seen marked improvement in benchmarks, like cleanliness, punctuality, and offering good services to railway passengers.

The minister exuded confidence that the national transporter will have a "superb" business proposition in the coming years.

Indian Railways with its ongoing transformative initiatives will be “highly profitable” in the coming five to six years, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said on Thursday. The minister exuded confidence that the national transporter will have a “superb” business proposition in the coming years. The ecosystem of Indian Railways will expand and customer experience will also transform, the Railway Minister said while speaking at the ‘Times Now Summit 2021′. On Indian Railways’ financial position, the Union Minister said its balance sheet depended largely on the cargo it handles. In the last seven years, Indian Railways has seen marked improvement in benchmarks, like cleanliness, punctuality, and offering good services to railway passengers.

According to the minister, from here, now, the national transporter has to move towards a totally new generation of rolling stock, which is the coaches that we use. Vaishnaw said it has to have a completely new way of working, in which it efficiently addresses the products as well as the logistics needs of small farmers and industries. He further said that Indian Railways has to transform and be more open from the perspective of railway passengers, cargo, technology as well as mindset. In the 1950s, Indian Railways enjoyed approximately 80% of market share in logistics which has come down to 27-28%, and now, the challenge is to move up from those levels. The minister said the Railways intends to vie for a bigger share of cargo.

The Railway Minister, on how private sector participation will be scaled up in Indian Railways, has said substantial private sector interaction with the national transporter already exists in the form of manufacturers, partners, service providers, as well as construction contractors ecosystem. Noting that India shifted to a model where public as well as private sectors worked as partners for the development of highways, the minister said that kind of thing needs to come into Indian Railways now. Very soon, Indian Railways might come up with the first build-operate-transfer (bot) project for laying new rail lines.

PM Modi had laid out the vision of linking all parts of India with modern world-class trains, Vaishnaw said. Indian Railways has started manufacturing those, and the move is progressing well. By April, the country will get the first prototype. Besides, the national transporter will get the serial production going on by coming September-October. Then, five to six new trains will come every month, he said adding that the focus of Indian Railways will be on transforming passenger experience as well as prompting more people to travel by trains.

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