India and Japan on Saturday signed an agreement to set up a high speed rail corridor in the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector with a Japanese loan of $12 billion on very easy terms.
“No less historic is our decision to introduce high speed rail on the Mumbai-Ahmedabad sector through the Japan’s Shinkansen, known for its speed, reliability and safety,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a joint press conference with his visiting Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe after delegation level talks between the two sides.
“We greatly appreciate Prime Minister Abe’s extraordinary package of approximately $12 billion and technical assistance, on very easy terms, for this project,” he said.
Stating that this enterprise would launch a revolution in Indian railways and speed up India’s journey into the future, Modi said it would become an engine of economic transformation in India.
Later, at a media briefing, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said the two countries have decided to set up the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high speed rail corridor with the help of Shinkansen or Japanese high-speed rail technology.
Shinkansen means new main line.
“The package that Japan has offered is a highly concessional loan with repayment over 50 years with a 15-year moratorium at an interest rate of 0.1 percent,” Jaishankar said.
He said that there would be transfer of technology under the “Make in India” programme.
“At this time we have a broad agreement. It has been decided to constitute a committee at a very senior level which will now get to work on this project,” the foreign secretary stated.
According to him, the feasibility study shows that the Mumbai-Ahmedabad link will take seven years to complete.
As for the financial sourcing for this ambitious project, Jaishankar said that it would be both from Japan and India and through joint venture companies between the two countries.
He added that the new committee that will be constituted would go into the details of this.