Budget 2021

‘Foreign investments will not come on Day 1’

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2017

Chairman, Railway Board, Arunendra Kumar along with Member Traffic, D.P. Pande addressing post Rail Budget press conference , in the Capital on July 8 . Photo: Ramesh Sharma

Demystifying the Railway Budget, members of the Railway Board — CRB Chairman Arunendra Kumar, Devi Prasad Pandey (Member Traffic), and Rashmi Kapoor (Financial Commissioner) — charted the course forward for implementation of the announcements. Excerpts:

What is the status on the regulator?

Arunendra Kumar: The screening and selection process is on.

Talking about FDI, have you seen investor interest?

Devi Prasad Pandey: Nobody will come on the very first day. Two big people work on high speed — the Japanese and the French. They will form their own opinions. The Chinese did over 70 studies before deciding on their route.

The Railways Minister spoke about project implementation and prioritisation. How have you decided on these projects and routed investments?

Arunendra Kumar: For completing projects, we have prioritised 30 of the 367 projects. We will give money. These 30 projects are beneficial for railway returns.

How have you selected routes for running new trains?

Devi Prasad Pandey: Out of the 69 trains announced, 42 are being run by lay-over of trains at stations. So, for instance, if a train goes to Mumbai and stays around for 24-30 hours, I use this lay-over period, look at the most profitable route that I can use and run-it within the lay-over. For the remaining trains, we went through the last one year’s wait list figures and then we said, ‘here are the routes which have a strong wait list from both the directions between two points.’

We said, ‘let us come up with a train — either premium or Jan Sadharan — because we wanted to take away our normal unreserved class which has the biggest passengers.

Why was the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed route chosen?

Arunendra Kumar: At the moment studies are on for Mumbai-Ahmedabad. Earlier, several feasibility studies have been done and people have chosen to study this sector to invest money. The route was chosen a year back. This is part of the diamond quadrilateral.

What has been the experience of premium trains?

Devi Prasad Pandey: We have run 801 trains till date and have got 29 per cent higher fare revenue than what we get in standard trains and Tatkal charges.

Why have no funds been routed to debt service fund?

Rashmi Kapoor: Because we did not have enough funds to route to debt service fund. But the fund is not dead.

Published on July 09, 2014

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