"The Indian economy will grow by 2 to 3 percent more with increased investments in the railways as reforms in transportation sector are vital to exploit full growth potential of the country," he added at a function here last night.

Citing the example of China, he asserted, "China made massive investment in the railways and showed that a country can accelerate development by boosting connectivity." Pointing out that congestion was one of the main problems faced by the Indian Railways, the Minister said doubling and tripling of the lines can happen only with a hike in investment in the sector.

He cited the tendering process of the railways and other commercial decisions were not being handled by the Railway Minister in the NDA government, as far as the delegation and decentralisation of power to the Departments is concerned.

"This has resulted in less loitering by agents in the Rail Bhavan," he added. "The Railway Minister now works only on policy execution. Decentralisation of power of decision making, if necessary, is in the interest of a transparent administration," Prabhu noted.

The Cabinet had recently cleared development plans for 400 railway stations, he said, adding that the railways should be seen as a new medium of development for the country in future.

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