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Government to announce tough steps to restructure Railways soon: Manoj Sinha

PTI 18 Nov 2014, 15:56:26 PM IST

New Delhi:  Hinting at some hard decisions to be undertaken to restructure the ailing railways, government today said it has to be done for betterment of the state-run transporter.

"Some tough steps will have to be taken for restructuring of railways. Though many will not like it but we have to do it," said Minister of State for Railways Manoj Sinha here at the India Rail Summit.

The approach of the NDA government is to modernize Railways through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP), Foreign Direct Investments (FDI), alternative Sources of Funding and Internal Resource Mobilization.

Sinha said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to transformation of the Railways. "I assured it will happen soon."

Asked what are the steps to be taken, he said "When steps will be taken you will see it yourself."

Admitting that changes have not happened in rail sector as fast as in other sectors, he said "We are on the job."

Seeking private participation in rail projects, Sinha said, "Being an industry-friendly is not anti-poor. More you converse with industry, it is better for Railways."

He said 100 per cent FDI was allowed in railways to bring investment in infrastructure.

Referring to NDA's first Rail Budget in July, he said "In the last railway budget we have consciously took the decision not to take any populist measures."

Currently railways is focusing on completion of existing projects coupled with a plan to build diamond quadrilateral network of high speed rail, connecting major metros and growth centres of the country.

He said economic situation and railways condition are interlinked and supplementing each other.

He further said passengers and freight loadings have gone up and it will increase further.

At present, railways carry approximately 36 per cent of the total freight traffic while in the US and China it is 48 per cent and 47 per cent respectively.

About the senior vacant posts in railways, Sinha said it will be filled up soon.