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‘Meltdown has had no impact on expansion’

The piling rubble of the global economic slump may have left may Fortune 500 companies with a bloodied nose, but Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said Indian Railways have emerged from it looking better.

business Updated: Feb 13, 2009 21:19 IST

The piling rubble of the global economic slump may have left may Fortune 500 companies with a bloodied nose, but Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav said Indian Railways have emerged from it looking better.

"Even in such adverse times, the Indian Railway Finance Corporation, in November 2008, has successfully raised a 10 crore dollar loan, equivalent to Rs 500 crore, at a rate of only 4 per cent, from the international market,” the Railway minister said.

The loan has been raised for dedicated rail freight corridor for a section of the western corridor.

The proposed 2,700 km corridor with an additional 5,000 km of feeder lines, with computerised controls on western and eastern routes, will cost Rs 28,000 crore. “The entire world is affected by the slowdown, bu the turnaround is visible and railways will continue to make profit," Prasad told HT.

Sudhir Kumar, the minister’s officer on special duty, said the five-year target of Rs 100,000 crore surplus could not be achieved primarily due to sharp fall in freight movement between September and January.

"The drop has resulted in at least Rs 8,000 crore of revenue," Kumar said.