Union Minister for Railways Piyush Goyal on Friday said there were no plans to privatise the Indian Railways or its premium trains such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi express amid reports of proposal to rope in private players, PTI reported.
“No plan has been made for privatisation of Rajdhani or Shatabdi trains,” Goyal said in response to a query in Rajya Sabha on the privatisation of these trains and the entire network. “There is no plan for privatisation of railways.”
Samajwadi Party MP Surendra Singh Nagar questioned him. “In what manner government would control the whimsicality of the private operators and travel fare after privatisation of Railways?” he had asked.
The response from the minister came a day after workers’ union of the Indian Railways had warned the government of unrest brewing among employees against its plan to corporatise the Railways’ production units.They had called it the “first step towards privatisation”.
According to several news reports, the railway ministry has come up with a 100-day plan to corporatise seven production units and associated workshops under one entity called the Indian Railway Rolling Stock Company.
It was also reported that the Indian Railways is looking for routes where private players can operate passenger trains. The Delhi-Lucknow and Mumbai-Shirdi sectors are frontrunners in the discussions so far.
The proposal said that the Request for Quotation/Request for Proposal will be floated in the next 100 days to initiate bidding, according to PTI.