India’s Railway Minister, Suresh Prabhu, suggested the setting up of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) through a joint venture between the Railways and the State government for implementing all projects in Karnataka on priority basis.
“I request Chief Minister Siddaramaiah to work out the modalities to sign the joint venture agreement so that there are no hindrances such as lack of funds in the way of projects,” the minister said.
The minister proposed that the State governments can come forward and pitch funds for providing infrastructure at railway stations as partners and the profits earned can be ploughed back into the SPV for rail projects.
“This way, there will be no lack of funds as the states could borrow money and even the Railways will also be able to take more projects at the same time,” he added.
Talks are on with other states to take up projects on Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) mode as well as with other ministries such as coal and steel, he added. Prabhu is on his maiden visit to the City after taking over the Railway Ministry. He was addressing a gathering comprising railway officials, state ministers and the public at the City station after launching new trains. The minister also exhorted private firms to come forward and donate to the railways as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities.