Privatisation of Indian Railways? Confusion cleared by Modi government

Union Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry, Piyush Goyal in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha made it clear that there is no proposal to privatise the operations of Railways. However, there is a proposal to outsource the commercial and on board services of a few trains and to permit private players to induct modern rakes to run trains on select routes with an objective to provide improved service delivery to passengers.

“The responsibility of train operations and safety certification rests with Indian Railways. Outsourcing of certain services like station cleaning, pay and use toilets, retiring rooms, parking and platforms maintenance etc. is being done on need based manner to improve cleanliness and other services,” an official statement said.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Railways (MoR) has informed about the initiatives taken in various areas viz. network expansion, setting up of locomotive factories, induction of railway wagons, Station Re-Development etc. to attract private investment and participation.

Five Public Private Partnership (PPP) models of Participative Policy of MoR, namely Non-Government Railway (NGR), Joint Venture (JV), Customer Funded model, Built-Operate-Transfer (BOT) and BOT Annuity models have been formulated to attract private investment in Rail connectivity Projects.

So far, 12 projects of Rs.5,700 Cr have been completed and 13 more projects of Rs. 23,000 Cr have been undertaken under these models. Further, 07 more projects of Rs. 13,400 Cr have been granted In-Principle approval, which are under development stage.

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