The Indian Railways may not be able to improve its infrastructure unless it adopts advanced forms of financing and more positive collaboration with the private sector, chairman of the Banks Board Bureau Vinod Rai has said.
Railways' huge infrastructure programme includes renovation of 408 major stations through private sector participation via online auctions.
"Unless it (Indian Railways) can involve innovative forms of financing and more positive collaboration with the private sector, its lack of infrastructure would only increase," said Rai in a report published by the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), a Singapore-based think-tank.
He also felt that Railways' intensive efforts in the recent past to modernise, expand, decentralise decision-making, improve efficiency, meet customer expectations, move to clean energy and introduce greater transparency through e-tendering.
The justification for doing projects in PPP (Public Private Partnership) format seems to be resource constraint instead of this route being a more effectual and cost effective service delivery mechanism, said Rai.
Railways need to have a clear blueprint for projects to be done in PPP format and selected on the basis of their amenability to PPP and driven by value for money philosophy instead of a resource augmenting measure, he further said.
Rail also suggested that the private sector should be invited as it has greater flexibility in adjusting its resources.