Empowered Committee for private investments in Railway projects

The cabinet has constituted an Empowered Committee to look after railway projects funded by private investors. It also empowered the railway ministry to decide on such projects, said ministry sources.

According to sources in railway ministry, the decision was taken on Thursday meeting of Cabinet Committee on Infrastructure(CCI) while deciding the policy framework for private investment in railways.

The Committee will be comprised of Chairman Railway Board, Secretary Planning Commission and the secretary of ministry concerned with the project.

Sources said that railway has been authority to finalize such projects in order to avoid delay. Earlier, such projects required approval of cabinet.

“Railways is focussing on connectivity projects and promoting first-mile to last mile connectivity.  In the joint venture projects, the private party will get 95 per cent of user charge levied on users of infrastructure developed under  such projects. The railways will get 5 per cent of the charge,” said a ministry official.

Railways is trying to compete with the road transport through increased connectivity to ports and mines.

There are many projects which are waiting for such projects, particularly in mineral rich states like Chhatisgarh, Odisha and Jharkhand.

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