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No question of privatising railways, PPP to be encouraged: Goyal

New Delhi , July 12 : Railway Minister Piyush Goyal on Friday said there was o question, no meaning of privatising railways but the government was keen to boost investment to create more facilities for passengers and improve technology and public-private investment will be encouraged.

Replying to the discussion on the demands for grants of his ministry, Goyal accused the Congress party of shedding "crocodile tears" over the corporatisation of some units, saying the Modi government was carrying forward a process that had been initiated earlier.

"Sometimes it is said we are going to privatise the railways. We have spoken loudly so many times that nobody can privatise railways. There is no meaning, no question of privatizing railways," he said.

He said allegations about privatisation had been replied earlier and repeating them will not change the truth.

"The truth is that if you want to increase the facilities of railways, spread them to all parts of the country, we need big investments," he said.

Goyal said passengers want a comfortable journey and the capacity of railways to carry goods should increase.

"The government has decided that in the future it will encourage more public-private partnerships. To increase route length, to bring foreign investment, we will corporatise some units. You started it, we will complete the work you left half-finished. Why are you shedding crocodile tears that there is corporatisation? We have been elected to complete the tasks you did not do," he said.

Goyal accused the Congress-led UPA government of slow progress on crucial projects such as dedicated freight corridor.

"The work they did in seven years, we did four times more investment to do track linking of 19,00 km in five years," he said.

He said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has proposed an investment of Rs 50 lakh crore in railways and related areas in the next ten-twelve years and has laid a roadmap of how the railways will move forward.

Her budget speech, he said, reflected the "new thinking, new direction" in which the government will work.

He said signalling system was linked to safety and it also increases the capacity of railways. "If the government takes steps to bring investment for this, it should be appreciated. Sometimes there is a need to rise above politics," he said.

The minister said the government will spend Rs 5690 crore on passenger safety this year.

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No question of privatising railways, PPP to be encouraged: Goyal


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