A day after General Electric warned India against altering a $2.5 billion (Rs 16,426 crore) contract, Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Wednesday said there was no question of closing down the project, NDTV reported.
According to the contract, the United States conglomerate is set to develop and deliver 1,000 diesel locomotives to India.
“I am open to new suggestions including electrification of railways, but that doesn’t mean existing projects – like the General Electric project – stop,” he said after a meeting with General Electric Vice Chairperson John Rice.
General Electric has already shipped the first locomotive to India, and it will arrive on October 10. The company is reportedly upset with Goyal’s statement on September 24 that he wanted to electrify the rail network. Goyal had reportedly mooted the proposal to wind up the deal with General Electric at a review meeting on September 7.
“If the Ministry of Railways moves forward with changes to the joint venture between Indian Railways and General Electric, they will undermine one of the most promising infrastructure projects in the country and put future foreign investment at risk,” the company had said in a statement emailed to several media houses. The company added that the Indian government’s move would put its Make in India programme in jeopardy.