Narendra Modi calls for Private Investment in Indian Railways

Modi said that infrastructure development always brings prosperity and entrepreneurship in its wake, particularly when a railway line reaches out further.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi outlined a vision of massive rejuvenation and private sector participation in the Indian Railways at his July 4 speech at Katra Station. Other reports are making it clear that 100 per cent FDI will be allowed in many areas.

These include freight movement, Japan/China style high-speed trains, coach, track, and signaling equipment manufacture, station revamping, and public-private collaboration in operations, of passenger services, both urban and long-haul. Alternate sources of energy such as solar power will also feature prominently.

Modi said that infrastructure development always brings prosperity and entrepreneurship in its wake, particularly when a railway line reaches out further. What a departure this is from the profligate populism and clerical tinkering that has been the approach in the past.

It is certainly a ‘script for the future’, a phrase used by veteran journalist Prabhu Chawla in another context, to herald the beginning of the turbulent coalition era. Those were long, unfulfilled years, that many thought were here to stay, until they ended abruptly with Modi’s spectacular electoral win. This script for the future is now being written by a strong Government, out to transform the country in short order.

Though it is early days, the Government has made an energetic start. Every initiative is harmonised to boost essentials like the economy, health, education, jobs, national security, reform in the APMC and food distribution, a fresh result-oriented approach to foreign affairs, initiatives on national security, bringing crooks to book and showing others the door etc.. Even our workers in the conflict zones of Iraq are being quietly and rapidly repatriated, using very effective diplomacy without sensationalism.

Alongside, there are unprecedented and determined steps to combat hoarding and food inflation in a down-to-earth fashion. It is hoarding and profiteering rather than food shortages that have been cited for the rise in essential food prices, including those of vegetables, onions, potatoes, grain and cereal. So this Government is opening up the granaries and catching the wrong doers.

Governance is being emphasised, most refreshingly, over politics as usual, much to the frustration of the Opposition. We can expect many improvements to set the country firmly back on the growth path.

The stock markets, convinced this dispensation means business, are poised to power on towards 30,000 on the Sensex from 26,000 levels it has already scaled. The development agenda is convincing to the FII community, and they have poured in over $ 20 billion in recent months.

 

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