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There is a clear misinformation campaign and propaganda with respect to India acquiring the Bullet Train technology from Japan. Attempts are being made to compare the project to past infrastructure projects and to create an illusion that India cannot afford the costs of the train system.
Nothing could be further from reality.
Expected to cost around $14.5bn, a little over 80% of the project will be financed by a ‘soft loan’ from Japan, which has a world-famous network of high-speed trains already in place and whose Prime Minster, Shinzo Abe, has a long-standing relationship with Modi.
Putting it in perspective, initially the cost of the project was initially estimated to be Rs. 98000 crores, later decision was taken to make the entire corridor elevated for safety considerations and to reduce the land requirements, the cost was, therefore, revised to Rs. 108000 crores.
Japanese soft loan would fund approximately 81% of the project cost. Project planned be completed by December 2023, preponed target of testing & commissioning is August 2022.
The terms of the Soft Loan are an example of impeccable negotiation and great trust both India and Japan have put in their relationship.
Key Aspects of Funding:
While the Bullet Train project may look expensive on paper, the above facts highlight it in fact isn’t.
The bullet train project will have a positive multiplier effect on the economy, for example a lot of the land along the rail corridor is not being used for industrial purposes. With the bullet train, they will now be brought into the fold and properly developed.
The project like this can’t be seen in isolation of stand-alone costs without looking at overall benefits it brings to entire economy by creating jobs and sustainable development.
– Abhishek Sharma