Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu today outlined the need for gearing up the railway infrastructure, saying it would amount to “huge gains” to the ‘Make in India’ programme.
“If railway infrastructure is geared up to meet the requirement of tomorrow, it will reduce cost and increase speed of transportation which will be huge gain for the Make in India as well as the Indian economy,” he said at an event here.
Prabhu said in the development of transportation infrastructure, growth will be led by railways.
Investment in railways will also push demand-driven growth in the manufacturing sector, such as steel and cement, thereby driving the ‘Make in India’ programme.
“Steel makers, cement manufacturers tell me that the early signs of recovery of economy is thanks to investment in railways. There will demand driven growth in manufacturing because their products will be manufactured,” he said.
On the Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC), he said it will also boost manufacturing because steel and cement would be needed.
The DFC on its completion by 2019, is expected to double the average speed of freight movement, which is currently around 25 kmph, he said.
Referring to the “complementary” relationship between India and Japan in different areas, he said, railways is collaborating with Japan in a significant way.
“Sixteen billion dollars with 50 year tenure, non-servicing period of 15 years and rate of interest just 0.1 per cent. If anyone offers anything better than this we will accept it,” the railway minister said.
The Japanese also “realise” that development of railways is key to the development of Indian economy, he said.