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Govt to Clarify on Railway Land Use by CONCOR before Privatisation

The government will clarify on use of concessional railway land by CONCOR before the country’s largest container train operator is privatised, an official said on Tuesday.

The Container Corporation of India Ltd (CONCOR) has built terminals to house containers on land leased from the Indian Railways on a per container licence fee basis. On the other hand, terminals run by existing private container train operators are built on land purchased from the market.

Also, CONCOR currently gets land from the Indian Railways at a concessional rate as compared to other inter-modal operators, an arrangement which may have to be altered once the firm is privatised.

Firms such as Adani Ports may be interested in picking up stake in CONCOR but would like clarity on the land use as well as the concessional arrangement the firm has with Railways for transportation of containers.

The Cabinet, in November last year, had approved strategic sale of 30.8 per cent stake, along with management control, in CONCOR out of the government equity of 54.80 per cent. The government will retain 24 per cent stake post sell-off but without any veto powers.

The Department of Investment and Public Asset Management (DIPAM) held roadshows for the strategic sale of CONCOR in Canada and Singapore last month during which investors had raised queries on land usage post its strategic disinvestment.

“Investors have raised queries on the land issue and asked to make very clear submission in what way the leased land, where the CONCOR has established its stations, would be available going forward and what will be the pricing,” an official said.

He said the Ministry of Railways will clarify the policy before the Expression of Interest (EoI) inviting bidders is issued.