Reacting to the Railway Budget 2020 Presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Alain Spohr, Managing Director of Alstom India and South Asia, Said, ” First budget of the decade had tremendous expectations and the finance minister has presented a well-laid roadmap to meet them. The focus on leveraging technology and boosting transport infrastructure coupled with worthy goals of reducing emissions are laudable. However, the government could have done more to promote localisation and Make in India.
Creation of five smart cities and modernizing transport infrastructure with a Rs 1.7 lakh crore allocation are commendable. Plus, the progressive initiatives by the Railways of promoting solar energy, upgradation of railway stations, electrification of tracks and operating 150 Tejas-like trains through PPP model are welcome steps. The Bengaluru suburban transport project and the high-speed train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad will improve connectivity between important commercial hubs. All these initiatives taken together will improve opportunities for all.
Domestic manufacturers can contribute massively to all these big-ticket projects envisaged by the government. But companies which have invested heavily to align with Make in India need a level playing field to counter import-oriented competition to contribute to nation building. The government’s intent to reward innovation, investments and entrepreneurship is in the right direction. But the key is speedy execution of projects where localisation and domestic manufacturing are given more encouragement.”