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No privatisation of Railways, Goyal flays Cong on corporatisation move

No privatisation of Railways, Goyal flays Cong on corporatisation move

New Delhi, Jul 12 (UNI) The Modi government on Friday stood firm on its policy to encourage

'Public Private Partnerships' in Railways but categorically asserted that country's locomotive operation would however never be privatised.

"Railways cannot be privatised......There is no question of privatisation of railways," Railway Minister Piyush Goyal told Lok Sabha replying to a marathon round of debate on the Demand for Grants 2019-20 for Railways.

'Truth is if we have to improve amenities in Railways, capital is required. Freight capacity has to be improved. The PPP model will be increased in projects and some units will be corporatised, Why are you shedding crocodile tears now,' Mr Goyal said making a veiled attack on Congress for opposing corporatisation - which he said was started by Congress regime itself.

The House passed the Demands for Grants pertaining to the Ministry of Railways with voice vote.

Mr Goyal said the track kilometre grew from 77,609 km to 89,919 km from 1950-2014 and rose to 1,23,236 km in the past five years.

“.....if we have to increase the facilities in railways then obviously we need investments for it. We have taken a decision to encourage public private partnerships and we will also corporatise some units,” he said.

Stating that there was no question of privatisation of the railways, he said adding the government however will invite investment in national interest to take up new projects and push up new track lines.

Mr Goyal said there was no merit in opposition parties contention that merging Railway Budget with the main Budget for a financial year was an erroneous move.

"Railway Budget used to be Rajnaitik (purely political Budget)," Mr Goyal said adding - "Such a Budget (separate Railway Budget) was strictly made for political reasons and was only aimed to misleading (gumrah) the entire country and the MPs".

"Hundreds of trains and tracks used to be announced just to win elections and to make people in constituencies happy", Mr Goyal said.

In his speech, he lauded the role of two of his predecessors Suresh Prabhu and D V Sadanand Gowda for putting the rail back on track.

He also congratulated Prime Minister Narendra Modi for giving a new vision to the railways.

"Prime Minister Modi has done away with the separate Railway Budget," he said amid thumping of desks by his colleagues in the ruling side.

Appreciating Prime Minister Modi for giving a new vision and mission to the Railways, Mr Goyal said: “A tea vendor selling tea in front of trains during his childhood saw this country and understood the significance of the railways well".

Mr Goyal also said during UPA rule, not one coach was manufactured in Rae Bareli’s Modern Coach Factory.

But the first coach was made in August 2014 shortly after the BJP came to power, he said.


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