June 28:In the presence of Minister of Railways Shri Lalu Prasad and the Chief Minister of Kerala Shri V.S.Achuthanandan, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed here today between the Ministry of Railways and Department of Industries & Commerce, Government of Kerala, to form a Joint Venture Company for fabrication of bogie frames for passenger coaches and Side/End Walls etc
. for the wagons for Indian Railways by utilizing the land and other assets of Steel Fabrication Unit (SFU) and Autokast. The MoU was signed by Shri V.K.Pabby, Advisor Mechanical Engineering (Development), Ministry of Railways and Shri Amitabh Kant. Principal Secretary & Special Commissioner (Industries), Government of Kerala. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Lalu Prasad said that this joint venture will benefit people of Kerala and Indian Railways in the future.
In view of the rapidly growing passenger services there is going to be a requirement of additional passenger coaches in future. At present, Railways have a limited capacity to manufacture fabricated bogies for the above requirement of coaches. At present, Railways have a limited capacity to manufacture fabricated bogies for passenger coaches. The Minister of Railways during Budget Speech 2007-08 has proposed that Railways will try to make good this shortfall by setting up a Joint Venture company with Steel Industrials Kerala Limited- a Public Sector Undertaking of the Government of Kerala having two units in Alleppey engaged in similar manufacturing activity.
Salient Features of the JV
• IR shall hold 51% shares of the Joint Venture Company and 49% will be held by the Government of Kerala.
• The JV will come into existence in a phased manner. The Government of Kerala shall clear completely all liabilities and obligations of GOK as Owner, Promoter and Guarantor of Steel Fabrication Unit & Autokast and transfer the assets to the Joint Venture along with employees.
• IR shall provide necessary inputs in the form of technology, management and training to start the fabrication activity for components.
• A Joint Working Group (JWG) will be constituted to prepare business plan and work out the modalities for the formation of Joint Venture and fixation of prices etc.
• The joint venture is planned to be constituted within six months from the date of signing of MOU.