PPP in railway projects to be made attractive
Shri SS Khurana, Chairman, Railway Board has called for focused attention in two areas, namely structuring of projects and procedural simplification to make railway projects attractive for private participation. He was speaking at landmark consultantation workshop with trade and Industry on Public Private Partnership (PPP) Policy Initiatives.
Khurana recalled that the theme of the pre budget interaction of the Railway Minister was to underscore the fact that a range of exciting opportunities for public private partnership in the Railways exists. While thanking the industry participants for their enthusiastic response and he also highlighted the importance that the Ministry attaches to consultation process involving users and stake holders in formulating Private Participation initiatives so as to make them attractive and acceptable.
Several policy initiatives were announced in the Minister’s Budget speech following her pre-budget interaction in February 2010. Several of these initiatives have now crystalised into draft policies. Four such policies, viz., a New policy for port connectivity and other connectivity works (named New R3i policy-Railways’ Infrastructure for Industry Initiative), private freight terminal policy, special freight train operation scheme and policy on auto and ancillary hubs were recently uploaded on the Ministry’s website for consultation and the delegates had been invited in this workshop to provide their feedback on these policies so that their suggestions could be considered before their notification.
Salient features of these policies were presented and a number of useful suggestions to make the policies attractive and viable were received in the course of the interaction. This would help in giving finishing touch to the polices so that the final notified polices would be able to achieve their intended purpose of kindling adequate investor interest and speeding up the process of augmentation of terminal/line capacity and rolling stock.
A number of useful suggestions from the industry delegates were also received in respect of the polices/projects currently under consideration in the Ministry namely, construction of segments of DFC, newline/doubling and gauge conversion projects, connectivity projects to link coal and iron ore mines, setting up of bottling plants for clean drinking water, construction of multi-level parking complexes at stations and laying of Optic Fibre Cables.