Indian Railways (IR) may be making all the right noises about public-private partnerships (PPPs) in railway projects (expert committees had pitched for broad-basing PPPs, having private train operators paying rentals to IR for track access, proposals which haven’t materialised), but the share of PPPs in extra-budgetary resources (EBR) has declined from 51% in 2016-17 to 33% in 2018-19 (budget estimate). This is even as EBRs have become the mainstay of railway capex over the last few years, as support from the central Budget stagnated. EBRs increased from 47% of capex in 2016-17 to 56% in 2018-19 (BE).
“The capex is happening through EBRs which are basically loans even as internal accruals are reducing over the years,” said a former railway official, on condition of anonymity.
Of EBR, loans mobilised through the Indian Railway Finance Corporation (IRFC) and taken from financial institutions including Life Insurance Corporation of India and multilateral bodies like the World Bank are on the rise. Read More…
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