The Union Cabinet on Wednesday approved the formation of joint-venture companies between state governments and the Ministry of Railways, to expedite the implementation of rail projects. These companies will be responsible for identifying projects, land acquisition and financing, besides government funding and monitoring, PTI reported.

The Cabinet said that this will ensure greater state participation in the financial and decision-making aspects of railways projects. This will also facilitate faster statutory approvals and land acquisition. Besides transporting people, various cement, steel, and power plants would get the necessary rail link for transportation of their raw material and finished products.

The railways has already signed memoranda of understanding with the governments of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Maharashtra to set up joint-venture companies.