Purchase of 3 goods trains
The AAP Punjab government is contemplating buying 3 freight trains to boost export and import in the state. This was announced by the Punjab Chief Minister on 26th Aug 2022.
If it decides to go ahead with the plan, Punjab would become the first state in the country to have its own goods trains to transport goods meant for export and import.
Punjab is at a disadvantage compared to other states due to its location and distance from seaports. The nearest port is Kandla Port. These “Punjab on Wheels” goods trains would help save the precious working capital of exporters and importers as it is likely to bring down the transportation cost by at least 50 per cent.
“The nearest port from Punjab is Kandla Port. A truck charges around Rs 25,000 for transporting export goods from Punjab to the port. “ – Bhagwant Mann, Punjab CM (Link)
Each train will cost 350 crore. The Punjab government plans to avail of a scheme of the Railways, under which it offers loan for such purposes at 3% interest. Exporters will have their own rakes to transport goods.
This move has been lauded by the MSME Export Promotion Council (MSMEEPC) and the Punjab Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI).
“The dedicated three “Punjab on Wheels” goods trains shuttling between Kandla Port and Punjab will have an unprecedented impact not only in doubling the exports but “tripling the exporters” too particularly from the agro-based and rural land-locked Punjab. This will revive the one-time high enterprising spirit of the State, generate over a lakh direct jobs in five years and contribute significantly to the State’s finances.” – MSMEEPC (MSME Export Promotion Council) – Link
(Updated till 22nd Sep 2022)