he Minister of Railways, Mamata Banerjee has reiterated that there will be no privatization of Indian Railways. She gave this assurance to the nation while addressing the Consultative Committee of Members of Parliament for the Ministry of Railways, here today. Speaking on the subject of the today’s meeting namely, “Public Private Partnership (PPP) in Railways”, she said that PPP route will be utilized to create more infrastructure, more assets and more employment.
She said that there are many socially desirable railway projects which are not being implemented because of the shortage of funds. She said that PPP is an instrument of mobilization of increased revenue from new business opportunities for investment in infrastructure. She said that there is a need to adopt new vision and new thinking for the development of Indian Railways and these have been outlined in the ‘Indian Railways Vision 2020’ document released by her. She said that commercial utilization of railway land, not required for immediate railway operations, can be and is being adopted to set up manufacturing facilities for locos, coaches, and components as also for hospitals, medical colleges and training institutions.
The Railway Minister further said that Railway Employees Unions are regularly involved and consulted in major decision making process. She emphatically said that care is taken to ensure that interests of railway employees and railway users are not only fully protected but also substantially advanced through these new initiatives. Mamata Banerjee pointed out that a single window cell is working in the Ministry of Railways under Secretary Railway Board to receive, process and monitor PPP proposals.
On the directions of the Railway Minister, Chairman, Railway Board, Shri Vivek Sahai, in the beginning, outlined the PPP strategy of Indian Railways. Shri Sahai informed that the PPP proposals received by the Railways are being processed and dialogues with the private players are being initiated.
The members of the Committee also gave suggestions and presented their view points at the meeting on the PPP initiatives taken by the Minister of Railways for the overall development of Railways. Some of the members suggested to further focus on basic passenger amenities.