Government must leave operating trains, infra projects to the private sector: Amitabh Kant

Speaking at India PPP Summit 2017, held recently in the capital, NITI Aayog chief Amitabh Kant strongly advocated the government to step away from operating infrastructure projects, noting that it was best left to the private sector. He also suggested letting the private sector run trains, instead of the government handling operations. Arguing that the government needed to limit its role to planning and development, he said that the government was incapable of handling operation and maintenance of infrastructure projects. “It is high time that the government should start to reverse built-operate-transfer,” NITI Aayog CEO said. 

He also had a word of advice for the private sector. Putting the private sector in the dock, he blamed the sector for creating the prevailing crisis in public-private partnerships. “There are many examples where it went for bidding and later backed off. Private sector is the most irrational sector and does not do due diligence,” Amitabh Kant said.

Batting for making the most of the available financial liquidity in the domestic market, he noted that the opportunity could be India by delisting its projects.  He mooted “the government should make special purpose vehicles for infrastructure projects and sell it to private sector. Indian Railways should restrict itself from running the trains and give them to the private sector.”

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