Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on Wednesday lashed out at the Congress over the corporatisation of a few production units of rail coach factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Rae Bareli district, PTI reported.

Goyal said the United Progressive Alliance government led by the Congress had announced the construction of coaches in 2008 but till 2014 not a single coach was built there. The minister claimed that 1,422 coaches were manufactured in the factory in 2018.

Goyal was responding to Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, who raised the matter in the House during Question Hour. On Tuesday, Rae Bareli MP and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi had criticised the government for corporatising six railway production units. “Those who don’t understand the real meaning of corporatisation...,” she had told the Lok Sabha. “It is actually the first step towards privatisation. They are selling the country’s assets to handful private players at a throwaway price. This will leave thousands unemployed.”

Meanwhile, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Kanimozhi said on Wednesday that the government had decided to close five printing presses run by the Railways.

Goyal said these presses were set up by the British and had become uneconomical. The minister claimed there would be no job losses due to their closure. “Not a single person will lose job... [but] we will not allow inefficiency in railways.” Goyal also took a dig at the Opposition, alleging that while the world was moving towards digitisation, some parties were still living in history.

On June 28, the railway minister had dismissed reports according to which there were plans to privatise the Indian Railways or its premium trains such as Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express. The response from the minister came a day after workers’ union of the Indian Railways warned the government of unrest brewing among employees against its plan to corporatise the Railways’ production units.