Goyal stated that if some private players will be willing to invest and run the existing system, which continues to be owned by the Railway Ministry, the consumers and passengers will benefit in a big way.
Railway Minister Piyush Goyal has clarified that the central government will not be privatising the Indian Railways network. However, in a bid to provide better facilities to passengers, Indian Railways will outsource some commercial and on-board services to private players, Piyush Goyal recently said in the Rajya Sabha. This step has been taken as it is not possible for the central government to be able to meet the fund requirement of the estimated Rs 50 lakh crore for the next 12 years to operate the network, he said.
According to the central government’s estimate, the Indian Railways network will require a sum of around Rs 50 lakh crore in the next 12 years of operations. The Minister explained that each day, the Railway Ministry gets demands for new lines and better services and it is not possible for the Government of India to provide the estimated amount for the next 12 years as there are budgetary constraints.
The Indian Railways network is growing continuously and more investment is required for providing the new rakes of new trains, in order to meet the increasing rush of passengers. Goyal stated that if some private players will be willing to invest and run the existing system, which continues to be owned by the Railway Ministry, the consumers and passengers will benefit in a big way.
Suresh Angadi, Minister of State of Railways stated in the Rajya Sabha that the central government is corporatising the Indian Railways network, and not privatising it. With this, only the commercial and on-board services to private players will be outsourced and the licenses will be given. The ownership will be with the Ministry itself.
In this process, the existing employees of the Indian Railways will not be affected in their services. The private players, after coming on-board, will provide better services and will create additional employment opportunities. Suresh Angadi added that all Indian Railways stations will have separate resting rooms for women and that services for specially-abled passengers will be looked after by the authorities. The issues of safety, cleanliness and on-board will also be addressed by the Railway Board.