Mamata seeks private funds for expanding rail network
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Mamata seeks private funds for expanding rail network

Last Updated: Saturday, February 6, 2010, 22:33
 
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Mamata seeks private funds for expanding rail network
New Delhi: Strongly favouring private participation in creation of rail infrastructure, Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday sought industry's involvement in laying rail tracks across the country and underlined that the service sector would not be privatised. "We want to expand the rail line with the help of industry," she said at a pre-budget interaction attended by over 200 representatives from various industry bodies and associations. With the Railways facing paucity of funds, Mamata invited industry to invest in construction of rail lines and said it would get matching stake in such projects. "If you invest 30 percent in a project you will get the matching stake in the project," she said adding mines, ports, business hubs, tourism spots can be fast connected by rail through this approach. However, she said the railways core departments would not be privatised, allaying fears to this effect. Mamata acknowledged that there were delays in execution of projects due to technicalities and red tape but said they were working towards speeding up work. Besides representatives of industry, trade union leaders shared the dais with the minister. There were about 70 proposals from different chambers of commerce and industry bodies submitted to the minister during the first of its kind pre-budget interaction. When asked whether these proposals would be reflected in the coming Rail Budget on February 24, she said "We will examine these proposals in detail and take appropriate decision." Besides representatives from industry, there were several officials and employees of the Rail Ministry on the occasion. The purpose of the meet was to involve all employees and officials in the process of policy making and implementation, she said. Admitting "lacunae in policy implementation", she said there was a gap in our monitoring system and it had to be rectified. The pre-budget interactive session lasted for more than three hours. PTI


First Published: Saturday, February 6, 2010, 22:33


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