Seeking to raise an investment of close to Rs 6 lakh crore for railway modernisation,a high-level committee today suggested levying a surcharge in this regard from passengers and disinvestment of railway PSUs among other options to generate funds.
The Sam Pitroda-led committee has recommended that the modernisation surcharge from passengers be based on per passenger km basis which would help Railways generating the required fund. It further suggested setting of a railway tariff regulatory authority.
The committee appointed by Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi last September to suggest modernisation,has asked the Railways to mobilise total investment requirements of Rs 5,60,396 crore for the proposed modernisation initiatives.
At the same time the committee has also sought a gross budgetary support (GBS) of Rs 2.5 lakh crore for the next five years and raising Rs 2.01 lakh crore through internal generation for funding the modernisation initiatives that include complete overhaul of railway infrastructure.
Trivedi who received the report today,however,ruled out any possibility of railway privatisation saying “Railways will remain 200 per cent with the government only.”
The committee has recommended for exploring new revenue models including commercialisation of rail land and stations to generate funds for modernisation of railway’s core assets.
Giving major stress on pubic-private participation (PPP) model,the committee has suggested raising close to Rs 2.30 lakh crore through PPP projects.
While it has sought dividend rebate of Rs 24,000 crore which railways owes to the government on account of GBS and has pegged Rs 1.01 lakh crore which Railways could generate through leasing and borrowings.