Union cabinet has cleared the five models proposed by Indian Railways for setting up rail infrastructure in ports set up through private investment in the country.
The five models include non-Government Railway, joint venture with equity participation by Railways, capacity augmentation through funding by customers, BOT and BOT (annuity) model.
The latter two (BOT and BOT annuity) will follow the existing procedure laid down by the finance ministry through the public-private partnership appraisal committee route.
It is learnt that the cabinet nod would broadly help in two-three ways. In case of the three non-BOT (build-operate-transfer) models, the Railway Board can now take decisions, instead of seeking cabinet approval for each project. The policy also addresses investor concerns on earlier policies. But, it also has conditions that could prevent windfall gains for investors.
It may be noted that the privately developed ports like Dhamra, Dighi, Rewas, Jaigarh, Astranga and Hazira, earlier proposed Rs 3,800 crore worth rail link projects.
These ports can choose any of the five models approved by the cabinet. But, there’s a hurdle to be crossed, as the concession agreement of these proposals first needs to be finalised.
For the last few years, non-finalisation of a broad policy framework and concession agreement delayed the Railways’ plan to attract private investments to build last mile rail links.