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Budget 2023: key focus areas for Indian Railways from asset monetization to new Vande Bharat trains

Budget 2023 would have a more focused effort to attract private players by offering more commercially favorable terms. In line with the National Hydrogen Mission, Indian Railways can also take the lead in rolling out hydrogen-powered trains in line by putting in place the necessary regulations and norms for transporting green hydrogen. Sujjain Talwar, Co-Founding Partner, Economic Laws Practice

While significant capital expenditure is planned for the railways, which is likely to create more employment opportunities, the railways should come up with a clear policy to reduce their carbon footprint. Capacity expansion, whether for freight or passenger traffic, should be planned in a way that allows railways to obtain more energy from renewable sources to reduce their dependence on fossil fuel-based transport.

Since the railways are considered as a distribution licensee that obtains electricity primarily for its own use, it has a greater capacity to absorb energy from renewable sources and therefore, according to Sanjay Sen, Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, a separate issue should be planned for the same.

The railway sector definitely has high expectations from the budget for adequate allocations for the modernization of railway infrastructure (including trains, tracks, stations etc.), transition to electric locomotives (perhaps even hydrogen trains) and importantly, I would say for some scheme/incentive arrangement , which would push for private participation through the right PPP model across the rail infrastructure chain, according to Pallavi Bedi, partner, Phoenix Legal.

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