PM Modi rules out privatisation of Railways, says `It is neither our wish nor thinking`

Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Varanasi, Dec 25: Ruling out privatisation of Railways, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that people must not be wary of foreign and private capital being utilised for improving infrastructure of the national transporter.

The Prime Minister Narendra said: “There is a misunderstanding that Railways is being privatised. However, I want to make it clear that we are not privatising Railways. We cannot go in this direction. You don’t have to worry. It is neither our wish nor thinking.”

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the new high horsepower diesel locomotive at DLW in Varanasi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the new high horsepower diesel locomotive at DLW in Varanasi on Dec 25, 2014. Minister for Railways Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu and the Chairman, Railway Board, Arunendra Kumar are also seen. Photo courtesy: PM

The unions had even planned to hold protest against the proposal to invite FDI in railways.

Seeking to dispel apprehensions among railway unions over the issue, Modi said: “I want to ask the union leaders how is it worrying if funds come in pounds or dollars.”

Modi asked railwaymen whether they welcome it or not and whether it should be done or not.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging off the new high horsepower diesel locomotive, at Diesel Locomotive Works in  Varanasi.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi flagging off the new high horsepower diesel locomotive, at Diesel Locomotive Works in Varanasi. Minister for Railways, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu and the Chairman, Railway Board, Arunendra Kumar are also seen. Photo courtesy: PMO

The Prime Minister asserted that he would not want Railways to be merely a means of transport, but wants to make it the engine of growth in the country.

He said: “I want to show more development in Railways than what has happened in the last 60 years,” while dedicating to the nation a modern, air-conditioned passenger train engine.

He also inaugurating a project for expansion of the Diesel Locomotive Workshop here.

The Prime Minister said that instead of utilising money meant for poor to fund Railways to keep it alive, the government wants to pool resources from the rich and soft loans from abroad to finance the national transporter.

(With Agency Inputs)

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