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Railways: Withdraw decision to allow private players, say Left parties

CPI general secretary D. Raja said the government seems to be bent on handing over national assets to private companies.

CPI general secretary D. Raja said the government seems to be bent on handing over national assets to private companies.  

The Left parties strongly condemned the Union Railway Ministry’s decision to allow private players to operate passenger train services on over 100 routes.

The Railways is a public service and not a profit-generating enterprise, the CPI (M) Polit Bureau said in a statement here. CPI general secretary D. Raja said the government seems to be bent on handing over national assets to private companies. Both the parties have urged the government to scrap the decision.

They said the livelihood of crores of our people are dependent on the Railways.

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Such privatisation undermines the basis of self-reliant economy. “Contrary to the claim that this will boost job generation, past experience has shown that it results in a huge job loss creating insecurity for crores of employees of the Railways,” the Polit Bureau statement said.

The CPI (M) said the Union government is ignoring the international experience of how such privatisation of public transport proved to be hard for the people. “The Railways is a public service. It is not a profit-generating enterprise. This character cannot be undermined.”

Drawing a parallel with the privatisation of the health facilities, it said it has adversely affected the fight against COVID-19. It stressed that health, education, public transport need to be strengthened and not weakened through privatisation.

Mr. Raja said the Railways is not the only sector that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is handing over to corporates. The government has opened the flood gates for the private sector to take over coal mines, banks, defence, oil, insurance, electricity, telecom, space and atomic energy sectors. “Any private entity investing ₹30,000 crores will expect a huge profit from its investment resulting in huge increase in the ticket fare. Train which is the common man’s transport will go beyond his reach.”

He alleged that the BJP government does not have any concern for the common people.

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 11:15:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/railways-withdraw-decision-to-allow-private-players-say-left-parties/article31971996.ece

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