Indian railways, the fourth-largest railway network in the world, is growing at a healthy rate. In the next five years, the Indian railway market will become the third-largest, accounting for 10 per cent of the global market. The Modi-led NDA government is taking a lot of initiatives to make it an investment-friendly sector through policy reforms. Recently, the government enabled FDI in the sector for improving infrastructure for high-speed trains and freight trains. Although no freight or passenger train services are being handled or operated by private sector, container services are being offered by licensed private players, which are being provided on a pan-India basis.
The government has cleared the proposal for 100 per cent FDI in railway infrastructure, apart from operations, through automatic route. It is an opportune time for foreign companies to invest in railway infrastructure in India. The Government wants to invest USD 120 billion in the next five years for developing railway services. As India has an advantage in terms of skilled manpower, as well as large base for manufacturing and consumption base, it would be a lucrative sector for the foreign investors, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu has opined.