Mamata invites private sector to invest in railways

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New Delhi, Feb 7 (ANI): Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has invited industrialists to invest in railways development through the public-private partnership model.

This is for the first time any railway minister has invited the private sector to invest in developing railway infrastructure.

During a pre budget parley with representatives of trade and industry, the employees union here, Banerjee said :"I said private participation in the new railway lines and that is good. For the first time we are inviting them. They will get their economic share, too."

"In our country, there are so many pilgrimage areas, there are so many port areas, there are so many coalmine areas and there are so many seaside areas. So they can connect it," she added.

The captains of industry flagged the perpetual problems of the unavailability of the wagons to carry goods as well as stable freight rate.

They also spoke of the need to simplify terms and conditions and make them in line with global practices.

"Many industries have said that wagons were not available, and second was long-term freight policy. These two things will be an indication for the auto industry, that's what will happen to public-private partnership policy started with the Railway Ministry," said Dilip Chenoy, Director General of the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).

The pre-Budget consultations by the Ministry are being billed as a landmark initiative and a rather unusual move on the part of Banerjee, who otherwise is more preoccupied with the politics of her home state of West Bengal.

Among the chambers at the conference were the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci), the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and others. (ANI)

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