New Delhi: Expanding the horizons of investments, the government has decided to identify the potential and approaches to attract funds in the Inland Waterways sector.
    
With a push from the Prime Minister's Office, a committee has been set up to identify the areas of investment as also the business models to scale up private investment.
    
The Committee will be headed by Secretary (Planning) and include Secretary (Shipping), Director General of Inland Waterways Authority of India (IWAI) and a representative of Department of Economic Affairs as members.
    
"This Committee would undertake a systematic effort to identify new areas for private investment, both in infrastructure and in transportation. It will also identify multiple business models which could then be bid out through concessions," an official statement said.
    
This will be supplemented by designing Model Concession Agreements (MCAs) and other standardised documents for facilitating a rapid scaling up of investment, it said.
    
"The committee will assess the investment potential of the sector and come up with approaches and proposals for scaling up private investment in Inland Waterways," it said.
    
It will also suggest mechanisms to have standardised MCAs prepared quickly for possible areas of investment.
    
The PMO feels that the potential of Inland Waterways is quite large, if it can be properly conceived and captured.
    
Since January, PMO has identified and fast-tracked implementation of key projects in the National Waterways - 1, 2 and 3, the statement said.
    
These are the Varanasi-Haldia stretch of the Ganga (NW-1), the Brahmaputra in Assam (NW-2) and the inland stretch in Kerala (NW-3).
    
Based on the push by PMO, IWAI has moved forward on large scale private investments to transport coal and fertilizer on NW-1, foodgrains and coal on NW-2 and a lot of cargo on NW-3, it said.

(Agencies)

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