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What’s in store for Railways — privatisation or corporatisation?

There is no question of privatisation of railways. However, if we have to increase the facilities in railways then obviously we need investments for it, said Piyush Goyal
New Delhi: Union Railway Minister Piyush Goyal said on Friday that there was “no question” of privatising the Railways but added that the government will corporatise some units in the national interest. “There is no question of privatisation of railways. Railways cannot be privatised. However, 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,” the minister said. “… We should invite investment in the national interest if there are new projects and lines,” the minister added.

Growth figures

While addressing the Lower House of the Parliament on the issue of Demands for Grants of the railways, Goyal said that railway tracks grew from 77,609 km to 89,919 km from 1950-2014 and further went up to 1,23,236 km in the past five years. He also said that railway budgets that were presented in the Parliament earlier were designed to mislead people and show them dreams about rail connectivity for political gains. “A tea vendor selling tea in front of trains during his childhood saw this country and understood the significance of the railways,” Goyal said.

‘Not one coach manufactured in Rae Bareli during Congress rule’

Training his guns on the Congress, Goyal said that not one coach was manufactured in Rae Bareli’s Modern Coach Factory during Congress rule. The statement assumes significance because Rae Bareli has been a Congress stronghold for years. The present Narendra Modi government is planning to corporatise one of the production units of the Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli, said Goyal. He added that the first coach at the factory was made in 2014 shortly after the BJP came to power. “There is only one difference between winners and losers, losers see difficulties while winners look at goals,” Goyal said.