Union Minister of Railways Piyush Goyal on Friday said there was “no question” of privatising Indian railways, but added that the ministry will invite investments for new lines and projects “in national interest”, PTI reported. Goyal was replying to the debate in the Lok Sabha the previous day over 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.”
During the debate on Thursday, the Opposition accused the Narendra Modi government of attempting to sell off Indian Railways’ assets instead of focusing on services. Leader of the Congress in the House Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury alleged that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would “one day sell the country” just as the aviation minister wanted to sell Air India and Goyal wanted to sell the railways’ assets.
Goyal claimed on Friday that railway budgets presented by previous governments were designed to mislead the public. “A tea vendor selling tea in front of trains during his childhood saw this country and understood the significance of the railways,” he said.
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.