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‘Neither pvt nor govt control can solve problems of Railways’

Suresh Prabhu

New Delhi: Privatisation can not solve the problems of Indian Railways, and even total government control is not a remedy, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said today, while advocating changes in the legislative framework for the sector.

The Minister did not elaborate on the “legislative changes” he was pitching for, but expressed hope that the government will be able to transform the Railways in next five years.

Speaking at a panel discussion here at the India Today Conclave, Prabhu said, “Neither privatisation (of Railways) nor total government control is the solution to the problems of Railways.”

Railways, which ferries 12,000 passengers and one billion tonne of cargo daily, will bring all states on board in order to bring the necessary reforms in the sector.

Replying to a query posed by Yashodhara Raje, Minister of Commerce, Industries and Employment in Madhya Pradesh government, he said, “We are signing agreements with states to form companies where the state and Railways both can pick up equity.”

The Centre will work closely with states to make Railways the backbone of national connectivity, the Minister said, adding that the economies of states will benefit from an improved railway system.

In the Rail Budget last month, Prabhu had announced that the government will set up joint ventures with states for focused project development, resource mobilisation, land acquisition, project implementation and monitoring of critical rail projects.

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