The Narendra Modi-led government has started its second term by laying out the blueprint for a substantial boost in India’s infrastructure. A key element of that is the upgrade of Indian Railways. However, during the Budget presentation, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman accepted that the government did not have the fiscal space to make the kind of heavy investments that are required to modernise the Railways. As such, she proposed to use Public-Private Partnerships wherever possible.
In the days since, it is becoming clear that to begin with, the government will be inviting private companies to own and operate trains on select routes. This is one of the big ideas of the government’s “100-day plan” for the Railways that has been approved by the Prime Minister’s Office. Another significant initiative is to “corporatise” the seven production units that build coaches, engines, and wheels. Read More
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