Railways needs Rs 50 trn in next 12 years to meet demands: Piyush Goyal

The Indian Railways will require about Rs 50 lakh crores in the next 12 years to meet the demands of new lines, better services and quality of services, said Railway Minister Piyush Goyal at the Rajya Sabha on Friday.

The Minister also said that they are not privatising Indian Railways but are outsourcing some of the services.

"As per our estimate, the Railways requires about Rs 50 lakh crores in the next 12 years and providing this amount is not going to be a possibility for the government at all. We have budgetary constraints," Goyal said.

He said: "Despite that, the ministry have almost two-and-a-half times more investment in the Railways in the last five years".

"You can feel a significant change at many fronts like cleanliness, quality of rakes, service, etc. So, if you want to meet the passenger rush, new facilities will be required and a large quantity of new rakes will be required," he said.

The minister said he believes that if private parties invest and run the things on existing system despite the condition that these all will continued to be owned by the Indian Railways then it is something which will benefit consumers and passengers.

"Our intention is to give better services and benefits; not to privatise the Indian Railways. Indian Railways is and will always be the property of India and the people of India. At best, new facilities, new services and serving better quality is the intention of the government," said the Minister replying to a query about the privatisation of the largest transporter.

Congress leader K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao had asked in the House that whether the government is thinking to privatise a set of services of railways on selected routes.

"If the idea is implemented, this will definitely affect prospects of the existing railway employees. What safeguards that the government is proposing to take in this regard," Rao questioned.

To this, Minister of State Railways Suresh Angadi Channabasappa said that the interest of railway employees is protected.

"There is no problem for the existing railway employees due to privatisation. And, we are not going for the privatisation; it is only corporatisation to improve railway services to passengers," he said.

Channabasappa explained that the land, stations, tracks, including the locomotives, are with the Indian Railways. He said that only commercial and onboard services can be given to the private players and there will not be any impact on the existing employment.

Another Congress member Ambika Soni questioned the House whether differently-abled people figure in expansion plan of the railway?

To this, Channabasappa said that if one compare the conditions of the railway stations that earlier used to be and now, what it is today, there is a sea of changes. There are same employees. But only mindset has been changed.

He, however, confessed that there are problems for differently-abled people but ensured that these issues will be duly taken care of in future.



Dear Reader,

Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.

We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

Business Standard is now on Telegram.
For insightful reports and views on business, markets, politics and other issues, subscribe to our official Telegram channel