New Delhi: Railway Minister Piyush Goyal told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that Indian Railways will never be privatized.
He, however, said that private investment should be encouraged for more efficient functioning. Heavy Industries and PSU Minister Prakash Javadekar also told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday that the Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) would not be privatized.
The Railway Minister said that the country can move towards rapid development and create more employment opportunities, when the public and private sectors work together. He said that Indian Railways will never be privatized. It is the property of every Indian and will remain so.
During the discussion on Demands for Grants for Railways (for 2021-2022) in the lower house, Goyal said that no passenger has died in railway accidents in the last two years and Railways is paying utmost attention to passenger safety.
He said that the government is working to make Indian Railways ‘engine of development’. Seeking the cooperation of state governments for land acquisition for speedy implementation of railway projects, he said, “If Maharashtra supports and provides land in Bandra Kurla for the terminal, then high-speed Japanese technology can be used.” Bullet trains will arrive in India. Today 95 percent of the land has been acquired in Gujarat and land has also been acquired in Daman and Diu. But in Maharashtra, we have acquired 24 per cent. The government is aiming to complete the electrification of Indian Railways by December 2023 and 5,500 km of track is going to be privatized this year.
After discussion in the House on Tuesday with privatization of PSUs, Congress MP Ravneet Singh said that privatization of public sector banks would compromise financial security as private sector banks would extend loans to big businesses and not to the poor.
He said that 10 lakh employees of 9 public banks are on strike in protest against privatization and have asked the government to start negotiations with the employees unions. Speaking in the Lok Sabha, Singh said, it is PSU bank that saved the financial sector during the 2008 global financial crisis. If banks are privatized, financial security of banks will be compromised. It is not about the 10 lakh striking employees, it is about the people of the country
9 bank unions have called for a two-day nationwide strike beginning March 16 to oppose the government’s budget announcement of privatization of public sector lenders.
Union Minister of Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises Prakash Javadekar said during question hour on Tuesday, “There is always an effort to ensure that the units that can be revived are revived.” Has approved the revival, merger or reorganization of some public undertakings (PSUs).
He said, “Some of them are Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation Limited, Hindustan Steelwork Construction Limited, Richardson & Crudus Limited, NEPA Limited, Hooghly Printing Company Limited, Konkan Railway Corporation Limited, Mahanagar Telecommunication Corporation Limited (Dzchas) and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (Thachs) ) Huh.”
Replying to a question, Javadekar said that BSNL and MTNL are strategic assets and in the strategic sector, there will be presence of private companies along with the government. “He made it clear that the government should not privatize Life Insurance Corporation of India.