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Govt has increased investment in railways: Prabhu

PTI | Visakhapatnam |


The central government is spending huge amounts to modernise infrastructure, particularly in the railways sector to push growth, Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu said on Friday.

He said the government will invest more in railways this year as compared to the previous years.

"Railways used to put Rs 30,000- Rs 40,000 crore in a year into railway infrastructure…We increase the investment to Rs 1 lakh crore. Last year, it was Rs 1.21 lakh crore and this year, it will be definitely higher…almost Rs 3 lakh crore has been invested in the span of two-and-half years," he said.

These investments are in addition to whatever the ministry allocates out of the budget and by giving contracts to different agencies, the minister said.

He said these huge investments in infrastructure and the new indirect tax regime Goods and Services Tax (GST) would help in spurring the economic growth of the country.

Talking about opportunities in Andhra Pradesh, the minister said the state has all the ingredients, including mineral resources, power and water to attract both global and domestic investors.

"If all states grow at higher rates, India will grow at 10 per cent," he added.

Speaking at the summit, GMR Group Chairman G M Rao too said that huge potential for investments exists in the state.

"We are partnering with the state in developing the port based special investment region near Kakinada in East Godavari district. This region would house various industries including petrochemicals, food and agro processing, electronics, sport goods and apparels…," he said.

Suzlon Energy Chairman Tulsi Tanti said that out of the target of deploying 175 GW renewable power capacities by 2022, "18 GW of the national target, we will deliver in Andhra Pradesh".

The firm is also committed to building projects of 4 GW capacity in the next five years, he said.

Essel Chairman Subhas Chandra said that the company has signed an MoU worth Rs 5,000 crore for developing a smart city in the state.

Seeking investments from global and domestic investors, Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu said under 'Vision 2050', Andhra Pradesh aims to be among the top three states of India by 2022 and increase per capita income.

He has divided this vision into certain goals and thrust areas like giving gas connection to all household by 2019, toilets in all houses, social and sanitation security, 24×7 power supply and job and water security to all.