Railways to ride on new frameworks for PPP

New Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) The Indian Railways would soon develop new frameworks for Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode to spur rail infrastructure growth, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Thursday here.

“We will be at the forefront of infrastructure growth in the country by forming joint ventures with states, developing new frameworks for PPP, scouting international markets for rupee bonds or engaging with multilateral and bilateral agencies,” Prabhu told lawmakers in over an hour-long presentation of the Railway Budget 2016-17 in the Lok Sabha.

Prabhu said the magnitude of investment calls for abandoning the business-as-usual approach and innovating to find new ways of sourcing funds and executing projects.

“This year, our investment would be close to double of the average of previous years – a feat never achieved earlier. For fiscal 2016-17, the capital plan has been pegged at Rs.1.21-lakh crore,” the minister declared.

The Railways will employ the new approach to its capital expenditure from the average capex of Rs.48,100 crore during 2009-14, with an average growth of only eight percent per annum to achieve a quantum jump.

“We have for the first time incorporated a statement in the ‘Pink Book’ of sanctioned works a list of partnership projects being undertaken with state government and other agencies,” Prabhu said.

Noting that every rupee of investment in the Railways had the capacity to increase economic output by Rs.5, the minister said the impact of increased investment would be unprecedented on the country’s growth.

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