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Pune Speak Up: All aboard the Modi Gowda express

Thursday, 10 July 2014 - 8:36am IST | Place: Pune | Agency: dna

Railway budget announced by new Railway minister Sadanand Gowda has received mixed reactions. dna asks readers if the Public Private Participation (PPP) and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) will uplift and bring in much needed modernization in Indian Railways
  • File Photo dna

Indian railways need long term planning...
FDI and PPP are welcome gestures by Gowda. Indian Railways cannot generate those funds to improve the dilapidated service. They have to look for funds from outside. With outside funds, technology and best in class products/services will enter India. For example Shanghai to Beijing is a distance of 2000 plus kilometer and the bullet train there travels at more than 350 km/hr speed and covers this distance in about 5hrs. Imagine if we can travel from Pune to Delhi in just 5hrs by train with best in class service. Therefore it is very important that we use PPP and FDI model of funding our ailing Indian railways and it is the only way to get the needed funds. Good technology will come only with money and for which we need foreign participation, 
Raja N, Citizen Activist


There is no other alternative...
What can we do that is possibly better than an attempt to attract FDI and build a partnership with the private sector? The FDI and the PPP will definitely help improve the condition that the Indian Railways is in, primarily because they will bring in funds which is the need of the hour. FDI will act as the basic capital source for the government. The funds will aid the government in providing better infrastructure. Rather than the private sector concentrating their money in other areas this is a better investment. At this point in time the only thing we can do is beg, borrow or partner and FDI for infrastructure and PPP for partnership is viable. The only thing we need to be sure of before stepping into this venture is that our bargaining capacity should be strong to continue our hold inspite of the partnership. The reputation of the corporate world will make attracting FDI easier.
Anil Bokil, Economic Analyst

PPP and FDI as part of Rly budget is good idea...
It will help us get more railways running and better services in place as well. The government is not equipped to handle all the needs and so if the FDI and the PPP can help in the infrastructure that will ease the financial burden on the government. India is one of the countries which has the healthiest railway traffic and this will be one of the basic attractions for the FDI. The private sector will also help attract more funds and the FDI and the PPP will in a way work in collaboration to raise funds for the Indian Railways. The private sector might also assist with better leadership and replace the ineffective government bureaucracy. Stock managing will also be possible with more funds in hand. The overall Indian Railways picture might improve with this step that has been introduced in the budget just yesterday.
Rajas Parchure, Director, Gokhale Institute of Politics and Economics & RBI Professor of Finance

Maharasthra needs attention too...
The first railway budget of the Modi Government looks to be a good step for the betterment of Indian Railway. A lot of focus has been given on infrastructure development, modernization safety and facilities. The plan of connecting all important cities by super fast trains is the most significant announcement and shall prove to very beneficial for the country. Announcement of first bullet train indicates the track on modernity which Modi government wants to take. Though, Maharashtra has not received the attention that it deserves, overall it is a progressive budget.
Nitin Kulkarni, Director, Vastushodh Projects

Current budget is a great disappointment...
What the Indian Railways need is not PPP or FDI, it needs a more socially responsible approach. The railway is caught between the 'jagir' approach which was seen in the previous budget and the crony capitalism approach which can be seen in this budget. The one model that the Indian Railways should look at following is the one that is followed by the LIC.I was expecting that the budget would fill the remaining vacancies. There are almost 21,000 seats for drivers, 8,000 vacancies for station masters and many more without which how is the railway going to function? The privatisation model in India is a very poor one and that is definitely not the option that should be chosen. The budget did not even look into expansion of the railway lines or development of the existing ones, nor was there any road map for the future which is a great disappointment.
Ajit Abhyankar, District Secretary, CPI (M)

Shouldn't be expensive for common man...
Poorly managed with poor amenities and now a very unsafe means of transport, it was high time that we took concrete steps to strengthen and modernize the largest railways network in the world. Indian Railways is like the nerve network of India. We can bring modernization within the network only with PPP and FDI model of funding. If bullet trains are introduced and manufactured in India, Indian Railways by itself can create a new industrial sector in the country. Modernization of railways was only discussed till now but the new budget for the first time has chalked out infrastructure development plan, which I feel is was long overdue. We should not forget that railway in our country is a transport for the common man, so why shouldn't it be inexpensive and also comfortable.
RV Krishnan, Activist & Chairman, Business Development Bureau

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