Suresh Prabhu woos US investors for Indian Railways

Washington: In a bid to promote cooperation in Indian Railways safety, India and the US have joined hands to work on a road show to woo potential long-term investor.

The US Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx and visiting Indian Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu disclosed this following a top-level talk on bilateral engagement in the transportation sector. The engagement is a part of the Memorandum of Cooperation signed when Foxx visited India last April.

At the end of a three-day visit on Friday, Prabhu said that there was immense possibilities for knowledge sharing, technology tie-ups and business cooperation between the two nations in the transportation sector.

Prabhu met the Chairman and President of the US EXIM Bank Fred P Hochberg where various issues including the possibility of structuring a financing model that caters to India’s immediate needs and to utilize the upcoming investment and business opportunities in the country’s rail sector, were discussed.

A joint press release stated that both sides have agreed to work on the road show of potential long-term investors who intend to work towards improving India’s infrastructure sector.

Prabhu also met with President and Chief Executive Officer of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC) Elizabeth L Littlefield to analyse the prospect of OPIC financing for the Indian Railways.

Prabhu emphasized the significant role of the Indian railways in providing low-cost sustainable transportation. He said this while addressing the World Bank Conference on Transforming Transportation.

The Indian Railways, he said, has embarked on transforming its energy mix by using renewal energy sources like solar and wind energy, and is undertaking energy audits to improve efficiency to meet its sustainability targets.

In his meetings with the World Bank and IFC officials, Prabhu made a presentation on the railway sector to the senior officials of the World Bank Group, showcasing the new initiatives of his ministry and familirising the Bank with various ways to partner with the Indian Railways. He further discussed the Railways’ efforts to expand, modernise, decentralise decision-making, improve efficiency and meet customer expectations.

Both the World Bank and IFC are operating closely with Indian Railways to help it achieve its formidable targets.

At a roundtable conference organised by the US India Business Council, Prabhu described the Indian Railways plans to invest $142 billion in the coming five years. He further expressed hope to double this investment figure in the next five-year cycle.

The senior leadership of the World Resource Institute (WRI) and Prabhu discussed the Indian Railways desire to transform its energy mix. They intend to do that by making railways an eco-friendly organisation through the promotion of use of clean energy and various other initiatives. (Inputs from Agencies) (picture