Railways, Kerala sign MoU for Joint Venture Company

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New Delhi, Jun 28 (UNI) The Railway Ministry and the Kerala government today signed an MoU to form a joint venture company (JVC) for fabrication of bogie frames for passenger coaches and side walls for the wagons for Indian Railways.

The MoU, signed in the presence of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan, was initialled by Mr V K Pabby, Adviser, Mechanical Engineering (Development), Railway Ministry, and Mr Amitabh Kant, Principal Secretary&Special Commissioner (Industries), Kerala government.

Under the agreement, the Railways would hold 51 per cent shares of the JVC and 49 per cent would be held by the Kerala government.

The compny would come into existence in a phased manner. The Kerala government would clear all liabilities and obligations as owner, promoter and guarantor of Steel Fabrication Unit and transfer the assets to the JVC along with employees.

The Railways would pitch in with necessary inputs in the form of technology, management and training to start the fabrication activity for components.

A Joint Working Group (JWG) would be constituted to prepare the business plan and work out the modalities for the formation of the joint venture and fixation of prices. The joint venture is planned to be constituted within six months from the date of signing of the MoU.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Prasad expressed the hope that the joint venture would benefit people of Kerala and the Indian Railways.

In view of the rapidly growing passenger services, the Railways needed additional passenger coaches. At present, it has a limited capacity to manufacture fabricated bogies for passenger coaches.

Mr Prasad, during the Budget Speech 2008-09, had proposed that the Railways would try to make good this shortfall by setting up a JVC with Steel Industrials Kerala Limited, a PSU of the Kerala Government having two units in Alleppey engaged in similar manufacturing activity.

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