India Inc wants the railways to become investor-friendly, so that the private sector can collaborate with it.
Ahead of the presentation of the rail budget, the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has urged Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee to open up terminal space for private sector participation.
CII also called for liberalisation of the wagon-leasing scheme. It sought permission to transport items such as coal, coke, ores and minerals, including iron ore, besides removal of restrictions on the types of wagons that presently have permission to transport.
Referring to ‘gaps and lacunas’ in the ministry’s container rail operations policy, CII sought a single agency to regulate development of any new container handling facility. It also suggested that the railways should be more liberal in permitting use of its goods sheds for container handling.
CII has asked the railways to consider incorporation of a price variation clause in tenders and purchase orders, and permit private agencies to furnish the interiors of passenger coaches.
Calling for identification of second- and third-tier stations that can be taken up for modernisation, CII suggested that the railways and the state governments concerned pitch in with viability gap funding for such projects.
Stressing on the need for technology upgrades, CII recommended a joint partnership between the railways and the private players for “developing new technologies required for the railways”.