Railway infrastructure needs ₹50 lakh crore till 2030, says Sitharaman

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Railway infrastructure would need an investment of ₹50 lakh crores between 2018 and 2030, said Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman as she presented her maiden Budget in Parliament on Friday.

She proposed that a public private partnership (PPP) be used to unleash faster development and delivery of passenger freight services for railway projects to boost the connectivity.

“Railways will be encouraged to invest in suburban railways through special purpose vehicles (SPVs) and enhance metro rail network through PPPs,” she said.

Government envisions using rivers for cargo transportation, which will also decongest roads and railways, Sitharaman said.

Railway stations modernisation will be launched this year, she added.

In the interim Budget earlier this year, the then Finance Minister Piyush Goyal had given Capital support from the budget for railways at ₹64,587 crore in 2019-20. The Railways’ overall capital expenditure programme was ₹1,58,658 crore.