NEW DELHI: The first big ‘Make in India’ projects, worth Rs 40,000 crore, were kicked off on Monday evening when Ministry of Railways signed formal agreements with global giants Alstom and GE Transport to set up locomotive manufacturing factories in Madhepura and Marhaura in Bihar.

The glitzy function, attended by seven Cabinet ministers, including Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, brought out the significance of the agreements. It took almost a decade for the final contracts to be awarded from the day Lalu Yadav announced the two projects as railway minister. The tenders for the factories were floated and cancelled a dozen times during the period.

Ambassadors of US and France, Richard Verma and Francois Richier, were present as representatives of GE and Alstom signed the agreement with railway officials. JDU leader Sharad Yadav also attended the event, representing the government of Bihar.

Jaitley said it was a momentous occasion and a milestone for ‘Make in India’ as international majors made an entry into infrastructure creation in the country. “It is a winwin situation for all stakeholders. It will help in railways modernisation, boost economy of Bihar and create a favourable ecosystem for growth in the country,” he said. Prabhu said with GM and Alstom coming into railways, it will create an atmosphere for manufacture of other items and ancillaries in the country. “‘The SMEs will see a vertical and horizontal expansion. The spin-off benefits will be massive,” he added.

GE Transport, as a joint venture with the railways, will manufacture 1,000 state-of-the-art diesel locos at Marhaura at a basic cost of Rs 14,656 crore in the next 11 years. Alstom will manufacture 800 electric locos in the same period at a cost of Rs 19.904 crore. Manufacturing and maintenance cost of both factories will be around Rs 40,000 crore.

Read full article: Economic Times

By praful

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