Banerjee rules out privatisation of Indian Railways

     Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday reiterated that there would be no privatization of Indian Railways. Addressing the Parliamentary Consultative Committee for the Ministry of Railways, Banerjee said the Public-Private Participation (PPP) mode would be utilized to create more infrastructures, more assets and more employment. She said there are many socially desirable railway projects, which are not being implemented because of the shortage of funds. "The PPP is an instrument of mobilization of increased revenue from new business opportunities for investment in infrastructure," Banerjee said. "There is a need to adopt new vision and new thinking for the development of Indian Railways," she added. She said 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. Banerjee further said 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 and pointed out that a single window cell is working under Secretary Railway Board to receive, process and monitor PPP proposals.

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