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Ahead of Railway Budget, industry body Assocham today asked the government to provide Rs 20,000 crore each for next two years in form of a soft loan or a grant to upgrade and plug all loopholes in the Indian Railways.
The industry chamber said the financial assistance will enable transformation of the Indian Railways, which at present is under tremendous financial constraint, into the most efficient and affordable carrier in the world. It said the support would evoke interest of global investors to invest in upgradation of the Indian Railways network.
"Capacity enhancement, efficiency, expansion and safety are major issues being faced by Indian Railways which plays a crucial role in development and operation of infrastructure sectors like coal, power, steel, cement and other critical sectors like fertilizers," said Assocham Secretary General D S Rawat.
"Innovative policies are required to be framed to attract finance for capacity building works. Effective public-private partnerships (PPPs) would go a long way in delivering modern, high quality public services competitively. Foreign direct investment in railways would also provide a big boost to its modernization and bring in state-of-the-art technology," he added.