Indian Railways has taken a slew of measures including monetisation of land and other assets and foreign direct investment (FDI) in the bid to increase its share of the revenue from non-fare sources, Union Minister of Railways, Piyush Vedprakash Goyal informed Lok Sabha in a written reply to an unstarred question on Wednesday.
Steps taken to monetise land and other assets include policy for leveraging mobile assets, out of home advertising, rail display network, unsolicited proposals and content on-demand, and commercial utilisation of vacant land through Rail Land Development Authority (RLDA).
The Government of India has permitted 100 per cent FDI through automatic route in areas of railway infrastructure such as suburban corridor projects through Public-Private Partnership (PPP); high-speed train projects; dedicated freight lines; rolling stock including train sets, and locomotives or coaches manufacturing and maintenance facilities; railway electrification; signalling systems; freight and passenger terminals; infrastructure in industrial park pertaining to railway lines or sidings including electrified railway lines and connectivity to main railway line; and Mass Rapid Transit Systems (MRTS). FDI in these areas is subject to sectoral guidelines, including necessary safety certification from the central government or its authorised entity. The FDI policy is also open to US companies.
In addition, certain measures have been initiated to give a facelift to the Railways and cater to the diverse needs of passengers. These include significant step-up in investment for capacity enhancement, safety and modernisation of Railways; improvement and upgrading of various passenger amenities like foot over bridges, lifts, escalators, toilets, battery-operated vehicles, wheelchairs and waiting rooms; leveraging IT for online ticketing and enquiry services; and introduction of various premium train services like Humsafar, Tejas, Antyodaya, Utkrisht Double-Decker Airconditioned Yatri (UDAY), Mahamana and coaches like Deen Dayalu and Anubhuti.