Railway minister Piyush Goyal, who took over in August after a cabinet reshuffle, said that the Indian Railways would invest $150 billion and create one million jobs over the next five years.
Addressing an awards function held by the Economic Times last night, Goyal added that the Railways could play an important role in "aggressively pursuing" government agenda to provide safe and comfortable travel.
Details of Piyush Goyal's plan
Goyal said that the investment would be focused on infrastructure so that local manufacturing can be bolstered.
He also compressed the timeline for complete electrification of rail lines from 10 years to four years, adding that the revised timeline would cut costs by 30% and save the Indian Railways around Rs. 10,000 crore per annum on fuel bills.
Earlier pleas for investing in the railways
Back in 2015, Goyal's predecessor Suresh Prabhu had said that he required Rs. 8.5 trillion in investments and invited overseas investors for the same.
Prabhu had subsequently secured a debt funding of Rs. 1.5 trillion from the Life Insurance Corporation to fund various railway projects.
It is unclear whether Goyal's $150 billion is inclusive or exclusive of Prabhu's required Rs. 8.5 trillion.