New Delhi: A day after the Railway Unions threatened the government with protests over proposed privatisation, Union minister Piyush Goyal said that the government has no plans to privatise it or any of its premium trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi Express.
In a written reply in Rajya Sabha to a question by a member, Mr Goyal said, “No plann has been made for privatisation of Rajdhani/Shatabdi trains. There is no plan for privatisation of Railways.”
Recently the director general, personnel of railways had to face slogans from by over 2,500 workers in Modern Coach Factory in Rae Bareli over the ministry’s reported proposals for corporatisation of its manufacturing units and workshops.
The railway ministry has reportedly proposed a 100-day plan to corporatise seven production units and associated workshops under one entity called the Indian Railway Rolling Stock Company. There has also been reported that railways may offer two of its trains to Indian Railway Catering and Tourism Corporation, to operate on haulage concept, with ticketing, onboard services to be provided by them.
The plan proposes the trains will run on important routes like the Gold-en Quadrilateral and Dia-gonals and connecting major cities. The proposal said that the RFQ/RFP will be floated in the next 100 days to initiate bidding.
Terming this as a first step towards privatisation, in a letter to the ministry, the largest worker’s union of the Indian Rail-ways had warned the government of unrest brewing among employees aga-inst its plan to corporatise the Railways’ production units. The Railways is also, reportedly, looking to give a couple of its route to private players.
Samajwadi Party MP Surendra Nath Nagar had sought to know "whether it is a fact that Government is planning for privatisation of trains like Rajdhani and Shatabdi; In what manner Government would control the whimsicality of the private operators and travel fare after privatisation of Railways?"