Union Railway minister, Piyush Goyal on Friday said that there was “no question” regarding the privatisation of India Railways. However, he said that the ministry would invite investments from private parties for new projects “in the national interest.” He was responding to a debate in Parliament on the privatisation of Railways.
“There is no question of privatisation of railways,” Goyal said. “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.”
In the debate session, opposition parties alleged that the Modi government was in an attempt to sell off railways to private parties. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary accused that said that the aviation minister wanted to sell Air India and Goyal wanted to sell the railways’ assets. If this trend continues, PM Modi might “one day sell the country,” he added.
Following the usual format of glorifying the chaiwala story, Goyal claimed on Friday, “A tea vendor selling tea in front of trains during his childhood saw this country and understood the significance of the railways.”
He added that railway budgets presented by previous governments were designed to mislead the public.
Goyal reiterated that during Congress rule, not a single coach was manufactured in Rae Bareli’s Modern Coach Factory, one of the production units which will be corporatised. “There is only one difference between winners and losers, losers see difficulties while winners look at goals,” Goyal said.