Thursday, November 25, 2010

Mamata for fast-tracking private participation in railways

BS Reporter / New Delhi November 25, 2010

In the wake of the growing funding constraint for additional infrastructure creation in the railway sector, minister Mamata Banerjee today held discussions with industry on options to make private participation in the sector attractive.

“Addressing the coordination gaps between the rail ministry and the industry is important to increase investments in rail projects. This is very urgent,” Banerjee said. The meeting saw

To make private investment viable, Banerjee called for decentralising the system of coordination between the ministry and industry. “The general managers of different zones should be told to set up a separate system at the local level through which companies can submit their business proposals. The businessman should be responded to within a month of the proposal,” she said.

She said the ministry would set up a committee, headed by the secretary, Railway Board, to invite and assess business proposals. Banerjee also directed the Board members present to take into account the opinion of private sector companies before finalising policies.

“Companies can now invest in new rail line projects, which was not possible earlier. These projects will increase connectivity, for example, to coalfields. The Dedicated Freight Corridor is another area where huge private participation is needed,” she said.

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