Railways needs investments of over USD 100 billion in next 3-4 years to transform itself and the government is working on a plan to attract funds including from overseas, Union Minister Suresh Prabhu said today.
“We want investments upward of USD 100 billion in next 3-4 years from multiple corners. We are gearing up for this. We are working within Indian missions overseas. We are working with Ministry of Finance and with all government machinery to make this happen,” Prabhu said.
Speaking at ‘India Economic Conclave’, the Railways Minister said passengers are demanding tremendous improvement in railway services but the government does not have the level of funds which are required to meet that scale of investment.
“Operating ratio of railways is very low when you compare it to US. It is 20 point less than what it is in US. We have hardly any money left to make investment in railways.
“One thing that I am trying to do is attract huge investments in railways. I don’t want to disclose the entire strategy now,” Prabhu said.
The Minister said he has delegated powers of procurement to general managers in Railways, besides setting up a one-man panel to oversee that his decision in this regard is implemented smoothly.
“I am not going to look at any tender. I have delegated those powers to general managers and officers below them. I am going to make them accountable.
“I want to bring in a mix of incentive and disincentive to make it happen. I am going to incentivise good operations,” Prabhu said.
The Minister said he will focus on outcomes as part of a new strategy to transform railways.