NEW DELHI: To attract investors for the expansion and modernisation of rail infrastructure, Railways is setting up a Rs 30,000 crore fund, first-of-its-kind for the national transporter, for implementation of remunerative projects across the country.
We are creating a fund of Rs 30,000 crore for setting up Railways of India Development Fund (RIDF), said a senior Railway Ministry official.
Investors like World Bank, National Infrastructure Investment Fund, pension and insurance fund and other institutional investors are expected to be part of the RIDF.
However, the RIDF will invest only on those rail projects which have high rate of return.
“RIDF will focus on new lines for freight movement or redevelopment of stations. It will not invest in those projects which are not remunerative,” he said.
A survey will be carried out before taking up the project. Projects with minimum rate of return ranging between 14 per cent and 16 per cent will be taken up by the RIDF.
Railways will seek the cabinet nod before setting up the infrastructure fund.
Since freight lines are more remunerative than passenger line, RIFD will focus on goods movement.
Currently, railways has undertaken many new lines projects which are socially desirable but economically non-viable.
Certain projects in the hilly and remote areas are being taken up to provide rail link to the people of those regions.
Railways is facing about Rs 32,000 crore shortfall in the passenger operation as it is heavily cross-subsidised from freight business.