India encourages FDI in railway sector

Indian ministry of railways has issued Sectoral guidelines for Domestic/Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in November, 2014, minister of state for railways, Manoj Sinha said on March 9, 2015.

The following areas have been identified for Private/Foreign Direct Investment: (i) Suburban corridors through Public Private Partnership (PPP); (ii) High speed train projects; (iii) Dedicated freight lines; (iv) Rolling stock including trains sets and locomotive/coaches manufacturing and maintenance facilities; (v) Railway electrification; (vi) Signaling system; (vii) Freight terminals; (viii) Passenger terminals; (ix) Testing facilities and laboratories; (x) Non- Conventional Sources of Energy; (xi) Railway Technical Training Institutes; (xii) Concessioning of standalone passenger corridors (branch lines, hill railways etc.); (xiii) Mechanized Laundry; (xiv) Rolling stock procurement; (xv) Bio-toilets; (xvi) Technological solutions for manned and unmanned level crossings; (xvii) Technological solutions to improve Safety and reduce accidents.

Modernisation of existing assets and improvement in passenger amenities is an important and ongoing process on Indian Railways. The areas include track and bridges, mechanized maintenance of track, automatic signalling, higher capacity wagons, electrification, new generation diesel and electric locomotives, green toilets on passenger trains, modernization of stations and terminals, quality of bed linen, provision of 24X7 helpline, ticketing, catering services, entertainment facilities on-board, enhancement of train capacity, Wi-Fi facility at stations etc.

Also a Participative Policy for rail connectivity and capacity augmentation was issued on December 10, 2015 which provides five models for building rail connectivity.

No specific investment proposal has been received since the opening of FDI in Rail Transport. However, approximately $1.6 billion (Rs10,000 crore) private investment have been committed for 19 projects under different participative models.

An Investors Meet was organised on December 5, 2014 and discussions with potential investors have been held to attract private investments.