faith... They feel if you invest in the railways there will be no returns. We will have to change certain policies to attract private players,” he said. Incidentally, the outlay for PPP in the FY15 budget is R6,005 crore, similar to last year's level.
Indicating the areas where private funds would be invited, Gowda said port connectivity projects through PPP mode of funding in sync with the Sagar Mala Project for port development would be given priority. He also stressed the need for private freight terminals and private investment in logistics. Station development is another area where private funds are expected and the plan is to develop at least 10 major stations as PPP projects, he said.
General Electric, Bombardier, Siemens and China's CSR are among the foreign firms that have evinced interest in Indian railway projects.
Stating that safety of passengers would be a priority (four railway accidents in the last three months cost 51 lives), Gowda said over R40,000 crore would have to be spent on track renewal and elimination of unmanned level crossings.
“The much-needed support for PPP as a significant source of investment capital is the backbone of providing the strategic financial headspace,” said KPMG.
Chandrajeet Banerjee, director general, Confederation of Indian Industry, called it a pragmatic budget.