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Do the maths: India's first bullet train isn't 'free of cost' as Modi claims

Over 50 years, the loan repayment value will be much higher based on the inflation differential

Narendra Modi, Shinzo Abe, India, Japan, bullet train, Ahmedabad
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at Ground Breaking ceremony of Mumbai-Ahmedabad High Speed Rail Project, in Ahmedabad on Thursday. (Photo: PTI)

M K Venu | The Wire
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has claimed the bullet train offered to India by Japan is virtually free of cost. A 50-year yen loan amounting to Rs 88,000 crore at 0.1 % interest is being described by the prime minister as free of cost. This is patently absurd.

India can have as many bullet trains as it wants on these terms from the Japanese, but nobody should be misled into believing they are free. For one, India may have to repay much more than Rs 88,000 crore over a 50-year period because the rupee will most likely depreciate against the Japanese

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First Published: Sep 18 2017 | 8:01 AM IST

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