Indian Railways is optimistic about raising ₹40,000 crore from extra-budgetary resources. Of this, ₹20,000 crore — a fifth of the total Plan size for 2015-16 — will be raised through institutional financing for doubling of lines to ease traffic congestion and other infrastructure projects, which are administrative in nature.
“We hope to raise ₹20,000 crore, which will be in addition to what we borrow for rolling stock through the Indian RailwayFinance Corporation, for doubling and other administrative projects,” said Financial Commissioner of Railway Board, Rajalakshmi Ravi Kumar, at a press conference.
Kumar said that the funding could be through joint ventures by IRFC, by setting up a fund or by raising resources from multilateral pension funds and other agencies.
Elaborating on the Railways’ plans to attract institutional finance, Railway Board Chairman AK Mittal said that it could be from the World Bank, through Public-Private Partnerships, loans from LIC or through joint ventures with State Governments and PSUs.
Mittal pointed out that nearly 65 per cent of the lines connecting metros are completely saturated leading to delays, leaving no possibility for running new trains. “We need to invest money in congested routes, the main high density routes. The bulk of the investments will be made for doubling of tracks,” Mittal said.
The Railways also plans to rope in Ministries such as oil and gas and coal to invest in improving connectivity in segments of interest to them.
The BJP Government has increased the Plan size for Indian Railways in 2015-16 by 52 per cent to ₹1 lakh crore. While ₹41,000 crore will be generated through Gross Budgetary Support and ₹17,000 crore will be through internal generation, the balance ₹40,000 plus crore will be from extra budgetary resources.
Mittal said there will be an increase in the number of coaches of trains in heavy demand. The Railways will also focus on running holiday specials and Puja specials.