Indian railways to encourage agri-retail

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Even as protests increase against organized retail, the sector received a boost with Indian Railways evincing interest in agriculture retail and invited expression of interest from parties.

Under this scheme, Railways would utilise the surplus land for development of facilities as part of agri retail chain at non-metro stations.

”Our role in the agri business is to provide land and ensure other support like water and electricity,” a senior railway official said. ”The hub will be created in non-metro stations facilitating transportation of agri products using rail network.”

Even though in the budget there had been plans to set up agri parks on public private participation model, there had been no progress on that front.

”There are several issues involved in the PPP project before allowing anybody to set up the chain. So, now we have entrusted the Rail Vikas Nigam Ltd to float the tender for inviting expression of interest from corporate houses and co-operative institutions. We are also expecting response from large logistic operators and retail chain operators,” the official said.

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