Presenting the Union Budget 2020-21 in Parliament on 01 Feb, 2020, Union Minister for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman said 1.7 lakh crore rupees to be provided for transport infrastructure in the coming financial year. Four station re-development projects and operation of 150 passenger trains would be done through PPP mode and the process of inviting private participation is underway, she announced.
Railways Infrastructure Announcements:
- Setting up a large solar power capacity alongside the rail tracks, on the land owned by the railways
- Four station re-development projects and operation of 150 passenger trains would be done through PPP mode.
- More Tejas type trains will connect iconic tourist destinations.
- High speed train between Mumbai to Ahmedabad would be actively pursued.
- 148 km long Bengaluru Suburban transport project at a cost of Rs 18600 crore, would have fares on metro model. Central Government would provide 20% of equity and facilitate external assistance up to 60% of the project cost.
Kisan Rail to be setup by Indian Railways through PPP:
With an aim to build a seamless national cold supply chain for ‘perishables’, The Minister also proposed that the Indian Railways will set up a “Krishi Rail”- through PPP arrangements to build a seamless national cold supply chain for perishables (milk, meat, fish, etc. There will be refrigerated coaches in express and Frieght trains as well she said.
Indian Railways’ achievements:
The Finance minister announced the following achievements of Railways within 100 days of assumption of the current government:
- 550 Wi-fi facilities commissioned in as many stations.
- Zero unmanned crossings.
- 27000 Km of tracks to be electrified.
Rs.100 lakh crore to be invested on infrastructure over the next 5 years.
National Infrastructure Pipeline:
- Rs. 103 lakh crore worth projects; launched on 31st December 2019.
- More than 6500 projects across sectors, to be classified as per their size and stage of development.
- National infrastructure pipeline has projects worth Rs.19.6 lakh crore for roads, Rs.13.69 lakh crore for railways, Rs.1.43 lakh crore for airports and Rs.1.01 lakh crore for ports.
National Logistics Policy to be released soon:
- To clarify roles of the Union Government, State Governments and key regulators.
- A single window e-logistics market to be created
- Focus to be on generation of employment, skills and making MSMEs competitive.
Industry reaction on Budget 2020-21
Reaction to the Budget by Alain Spohr, Managing Director of Alstom India and South Asia-
“First budget of the decade had tremendous expectations and the finance minister has presented a well-laid roadmap to meet them. The focus on leveraging technology and boosting transport infrastructure coupled with worthy goals of reducing emissions are laudable. However, the government could have done more to promote localisation and Make in India.
Creation of five smart cities and modernizing transport infrastructure with a Rs 1.7 lakh crore allocation are commendable. Plus, the progressive initiatives by the Railways of promoting solar energy, upgradation of railway stations, electrification of tracks and operating 150 Tejas-like trains through PPP model are welcome steps. The Bengaluru suburban transport project and the high-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will improve connectivity between important commercial hubs. All these initiatives taken together will improve opportunities for all.
Domestic manufacturers can contribute massively to all these big-ticket projects envisaged by the government. But companies which have invested heavily to align with Make in India need a level playing field to counter import-oriented competition to contribute to nation building.
The government’s intent to reward innovation, investments and entrepreneurship is in the right direction. But the key is speedy execution of projects where localisation and domestic manufacturing are given more encouragement.”
Rajeev Joisar, Country Leader – India, Bombardier Transportation
“Rail Budget has a strong focus on Safety and Passenger Experience“
- We, at Bombardier, feel that reinforcement on public private partnerships (PPP) will gain momentum in the coming years in India resulting in faster development of railway infrastructure, including rolling stock. Setting up of Kisan rail through public private partnership will aid in ensuring efficient and safe railways in India.
- We really appreciate the efforts of Indian Railways to explore the possibility of private train operation on their network. Bombardier is following the train operations project very closely and has already discussed the project with senior Indian Railway officials. It is too early at this stage to comment on our future course of action as we shall evaluate the project once tender specifications are finalised. We share Indian government’s vision to decongest India by rail investments with higher involvement of private sector in train operations as an initial project and outlining a safer railway system in India.
- We are pleased with the allocation of funds from the Central government for the Bengaluru suburban rail system. Bombardier has been supplying our rail equipment for Mumbai and Kolkata suburban rail system and would be keen to supply our rolling stock, rail equipment and services to decongest the much-needed traffic in Bengaluru.
Bombardier has a strong focus on maintenance and services and we are pleased that the Indian Railways is stressing on digitalization, proven global technologies and move from manual inspection to machine assisted automatic identification which will help in providing safe, efficient and economical passenger and freight services.
- Deployment of more passenger trains like Tejas on the Indian Railways highlights the commitment of Indian Railways and their focus on passenger comfort, safety, faster travel time and better connectivity to tourist destinations.
- As Hon. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is looking to realise $5 trillion economy for India, Railways will play a crucial role in the growth of the economy and Bombardier is very keen to supply our rolling stock, signalling solutions, rail equipment and services to Indian Railways supporting his vision.
- As our recent investments demonstrate, Bombardier is committed to the development of rail transportation in India, where we have built capabilities for around 60 years covering complete range of railway vehicle manufacturing, local engineering, strategic supplier base with around 2000 skilled employees delivering rail projects for domestic and foreign markets.