Railway ministry meets banks over Rs.8.5 lakh crore opportunity

New Delhi, July 22 (IANS) The railway ministry and its PSU Indian Railway Finance Corporation hosted a meeting of banks and financial institutions over an investment plan of Rs.8.5 lakh crore in the coming five years to strengthen and modernize railway infrastructure in the country.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu spoke about the initial agreement signed with LIC which has assured funds of Rs.1.5 lakh crore in five years for railway projects, a statement said on Wednesday.

Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan said financing plans will have to provide for more equity cushion, flexible debt structures and allow for a reasonable coverage of cost overruns.

He also stressed the need for developing strong technical and economic skills in banks for project evaluation and monitoring.

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