‘Private sector can help increase funding options for rail infra’

New Delhi: Private sector could help increase funding options for creating railway infrastructure, said ratings agency ICRA.

Given the increased funding requirements, besides higher global business services (GBS), other avenues like Joint Ventures (JVs) with the state government, sourcing funds from multilateral financing institutions, and attracting private sector investment will be important, said Shubham Jain, Senior Vice-President and Group Head, Corporate Ratings, ICRA.

Railways is also exploring various modes of public-private partnership, (PPP) including for creation of infrastructure, operations and maintenance, monetisation of operating assets, etc. If appropriate risk-reward balancing is done in these projects, private sector participation can help increase funding options.

According to the agency, a key infrastructure area where PPP can increase considerably is the redevelopment of railway stations.

It cited that there are more than 8,000 passenger railway stations with nearly all of these owned and operated by the Indian Railways.

Earlier, railways had explored the PPP route for redevelopment of some key stations in the past, however, only one project could be awarded on the PPP mode.

Subsequently, participation from private players for these projects was muted.

 

NT Bureau