In a recent exclusive interview, Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw emphasised the need for Indian Railways to increase its modal share in freight to 55 percent for the country to attain global economic competitiveness. Vaishnaw highlighted the government’s target of achieving 55 percent rail and 45 percent road modal share, reducing logistics costs to 7.5-8.0 percent of the GDP.
The National Logistics Policy, introduced in 2022, aims to bring down logistics costs to single digits from the current 13–14 percent of the GDP. For heavy and high-density cargo like coal, cement, and steel, Vaishnaw envisions a rail share of 80–85 percent, while parcels should be split evenly between rail and road.
While the minister didn’t provide a specific timeline for the target, the National Rail Plan aims to increase the share of freight traffic by rail to 45 percent by 2030. Vaishnaw highlighted ongoing initiatives, including dedicated freight corridors, network capacity expansion, and infrastructure upgrades, to achieve this objective.
He noted that the complexity of the railway network makes private sector participation limited, emphasising the public sector’s capability in handling such complexities. Vaishnaw underscored the economic advantages of catering to increasing cargo demand through railways, driving investment decisions.
Source: NDTV Profit