BUSINESS

Railways need budgetary support for expansion

Special Correspondent

Logistic parks will be set up along the freight corridors

NEW DELHI: Warning that lack of resources could hamper implementation of mammoth projects like the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), Minister of State for Railways, R. Velu on Wednesday asked the Planning Commission and the Finance Ministry to provide adequate budgetary support for future expansion and modernisation schemes in the next five years.

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (Assocham) on `Dedicated Freight Corridor,' Mr. Velu said despite registering a cash surplus of Rs. 20, 000 crore in 2006-07, the Railways required huge funds through budgetary allocations to achieve its ambitious expansion programmes.

PPP model

Mr. Velu announced that the Railways had decided to execute the Delhi-Kolkata and Delhi-Mumbai freight corridor projects through public-private partnership as more than Rs. 30,000 crore would be required for their implementation.

The Railways had also decided to expand the freight corridor projects to four regions, comprising North-South, East-West, South and East coast without giving a particular time frame for their execution.

The Minister said logistic parks would be set up along the proposed corridor routes, providing a whole gamut of related services to industry to generate new opportunities in manufacturing, packaging and related industries.

The Railway Board Member Staff, K. C. Jena, said investments required for the XI Plan for capacity augmentation and various works on the Railways would be nearly two to three times the level of past five years and hence adequate support from the Government would be needed to objectively finance its expansion programmes.

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