Highest Ever Funding of Rs. 1.5 Lakh Crore for Railways – MoU Signed with LIC
A Big Step Forward to make Indian Economy more Robust: Suresh Prabhu
Just within fifteen days of presenting the Railway Budget 2015-16, the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu fulfilled yet another commitment of his Budget announcement by achieving the highest ever funding of Rs. 1.5 lakh crore for Railways. In this historic landmark achievement, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the Ministry of Railways and Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) in the presence of the Minister of Finance Shri Arun Jaitley and the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu at a function here today. The signatories of MoU were Smt. Rajalakshmi Ravikumar, Financial Commissioner, Ministry of Railways and Shri S.K.Roy, Chairman, LIC.
Speaking on the occasion, the Railway Minister said that this is the first such step in its endeavour to make Indian Railways prosperous in the future. He said that with such encouraging initiatives, the Ministry of Railways will be able to augment its resources for speedier execution of projects. Shri Suresh Prabhu said that the resultant enhanced throughput of traffic is likely to further increase the capacity to carry more to meet with a growing transportation demand leading to a robust economy. He thanked the officials of the Finance Ministry, LIC and the Railway Ministry for working together as a team to make this deal a big success.
Under this MoU, LIC will make available to the Ministry of Railways/its entities a Financial Assistance with a limit of 1,50,000 crore over the next five years for implementing Railway projects. The Financial Assistance will be available from the Financial Year 2015-16.
In his Budget Speech, Shri Suresh Prabhu had announced his intention of meeting a part of the total Plan Budget of Rs 1,00,011 crore for the financial year 2015-16, through extra budgetary resources, such as market borrowings by tapping low cost long term funds. The challenge has been successfully met in a substantial measure by the signing of this MoU for mobilising resources.
There would be a five-year moratorium on interest and loan repayment and the rest of the terms would be negotiated while signing the finance assistance agreement.
The Minister of State for Finance, Shri Jayant Sinha, the Minister of Railways, Shri Manoj Sinha were also present on the occasion. Also present on the occasion, among others, were Shri A.K.Mital, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Hasmukh Adhia, Secretary (FS), Railway Board Members and senior officials from Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Railways and LIC.
Earlier, just a few days after the presentation of Railway Budget 2015-16, the Minister of Railways Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu fulfilled commitment of his budget announcement by launching a ‘Customer Complaint Web Portal and Mobile Application’. This ‘Customer Complaint-cum-Suggestion’ portal and mobile App which can be freely downloaded, is very useful as one can track the status of the complaints which he or she registered on this portal with the help of mobile App. Soon after his taking over as the Minister of Railway,, Shri Suresh Prabhu started the process of welcoming suggestions from the people to further improve the passenger services and valuable suggestions on this newly launched portal can be incorporated in all possible ways, if found suitable.