KOCHI: Foreign funding is essential for ambitious projects such as the bullet train in the country,” Union Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda said here on Thursday.
Gowda also said that the Railways has prioritised implementation of 30 national-level projects this year.
But, the Railway Minister didn’t specify whether there are any Kerala-specific projects among them.
“The ministry is focusing on already allotted projects. To materialise the projects announced in the past three years alone, the Railways has to shell out `5.60 lakh crore. This is at a time when the revenue is `60,000 crore,” Gowda said.
“At this juncture, there is a need for active private partnership. Around 95 per cent of the annual revenue generated by the Railways is being spent on operational purposes.
“This include 52 percent for salaries and perks for employees, 30 per cent for diesel and electricity and 15 per cent for other maintenance charges,” Sadananda Gowda said.
“A special committee will be formed to bring down the operational costs. Three other committees will focus on studying revenue mobilisation, wider application of IT and reforms.
All the committees will have a single member and the Railways will take steps to implement the recommendations of the committees this year itself, the Railway Minister said.