No privatisation of railways: Govt

PTI file photo

The government is not privatising the Indian Railways but only outsourcing commercial and onboard services to private players to provide better facilities to commuters, Railways Minister Piyush Goyal said in Rajya Sabha on Friday.

"Our intention is to give better services and benefits and not to privatise the Indian Railways. The Indian Railways is and always continues to be the property of India and people of India," Goyal assured in the Upper House.

With the growing demand to provide railway connectivity and quality services, Indian Railways required Rs 50 lakh crore for the next 12 years. Since the national transporter finding difficult to mobilise huge funds, the government has decided to outsource some of the services.

The government is encouraging private players to invest and operate in its system to provide better services to passengers but the railway will remain the owner of the system, he said.

Union Minister of State for Railways Sursh Angadi maintained that the government is incorporating railways not privatising it. Existing employees of the Indian Railways will not be affected due to corporatisation. Private players will provide better services and create additional employment opportunities, he said.

As part of the allowing private operators to run trains, Railways already allowed Lucknow-Delhi and Mumbai-Ahmedabad to IRCTC to run Tejas Express. The railways also planning to allow the private operator to run 150 trains in different routes.

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