Indian Railways not to be privatised, clarifies Piyush Goyal; here’s what the Railway Minister said

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Published: July 11, 2019 12:18:51 PM

Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry has proposed a 100-day roadmap for the national transporter, and the plan to get private players for operating passenger trains to provide world-class passenger services is part of that.

railwaysPiyush Goyal recently informed Lok Sabha that there is no proposal to privatise the national transporter.

Indian Railways has been in news over rumours of privatization over the last few days, however, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal recently informed Lok Sabha that there is no proposal to privatise the national transporter. The announcement came against the backdrop of a proposal of Indian Railways to give two trains to private operators. The Railway Minister, in his written reply stated that so far, no specific passenger train has been identified to be run by private payers. However, sources told Financial Express Online that Indian Railways has identified New Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express train as the first to be run by private operators via IRCTC.

On the other hand, Minister of State for Railways Suresh Angadi, while responding to a supplementary question, said that further studies on the issue are on and trials will be conducted in the coming days. According to the report, Goyal was also asked whether he is aware that a report submitted to the United Nations General Assembly last year in September had highlighted challenges presented by large-scale privatization to the protection of human rights.

Piyush Goyal-led Railway Ministry has proposed a 100-day roadmap for the national transporter, and the plan to get private players for operating passenger trains to provide world-class passenger services is part of that.

A few days ago, a senior railway official told Financial Express Online that the custody of the New Delhi-Lucknow Tejas Express train will be transferred to the Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), which in turn will draw up a plan to rope in private operators for on-board services. The aim of railways is to offer two trains to IRCTC for operation on haulage concept, with onboard and ticketing services to be provided by the corporation. The annual lease charges will be paid by IRCTC to Indian Railway Finance Corporation for the train rakes. While the private players will be handed over the on-board services after an open bidding process. To begin with, two trains will be identified, but the rakes will be under IRCTC and the private players will be responsible for onboard services etc.

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