India Eyes Private Funds for Port-Rail Venture


In a bid to connect its ports and national networks, India is looking to build rail lines that would require up to US$1 billion of private investment by 2017.

According to Reuters, an investment this large would more than double the $400 million that India's state-owned railways have attracted in the last 10 years.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said that he would like private companies to help build the last mile port links in an effort to eliminate bottlenecks currently affecting the country’s ports.

Mukul Saran Mathur, an Executive Director at the Ministry of Railways Companies commented on the terms and conditions of investments by saying that businesses will be allowed to part-own new rail lines for variable periods of time as opposed to a fixed number of years.

He added that the government had given approval to domestic infrastructure companies such as Navayuga and Balaji Infra to build up to 316km of lines within two years.

Foreign operators such as Maersk who already own stakes in India’s ports have been seen as key prospects for investment in rail lines, however, the company has not shown an interest thus far.

An estimated $8 billion over the next two years is anticipated to be spent on expanding capacity to meet rising imports.

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