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Privatising Indian Railways "anti-national": CITU slams Narendra Modi government

The railway ministry has decided to attract ₹30,000 crores of private sector investment in which will be the first initiative of private investment for operating passengers trains over the network of the Indian Railways.

Privatising Indian Railways "anti-national": CITU slams Narendra Modi government
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After the Indian Railways made its move to invite private investors, the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) denounced the move by Ministry of Railways while condemning the “anti-national” move by the Narendra Modi government to put the railways “on-sale”. 

The Railways has invited Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for private investors to operate train services over 109 origin-destination routes route via the introduction of 151 modern trains. 

The railway ministry has decided to attract ₹30,000 crores of private sector investment in which will be the first initiative of private investment for operating passengers trains over the network of the Indian Railways. 

Denouncing the move, CITU released a statement saying it was “appalling” that the government chose the lockdown period to fast track this “anti-national” policy. The pair of high-speed trains have been formed into 12 clusters to run across the Indian Railway network, by the drivers and guards of Indian Railways. 

Meanwhile, the other employees will be of the private operators. Private operators will be responsible for procuring, operating and maintaining the trains and safety of the passengers. 

“The BJP government has permitted 100% Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in manufacturing and maintenance of rolling stock, signalling and electric workers and dedicated freight lines. It has started handing over the railway stations along with the huge amounts of real estate to the private corporates,” CITU in a statement said. 

The motive of the private players will be maximising profits, not providing a cheap mode of transport to the people, it read while pointing out that people availing railway transport will be subjected to a heavier burden of unaffordable railway fares. 

Slamming the claims of job creation, CITU said that the employment lost due to privatisation of our production units, the Jewels of Indian Railways, in the railway workshops and in maintenance units will be many times more than the employment created by the private players.

“Most of the jobs that will be created will be precarious jobs, not permanent jobs with decent wages and social security,” it said while opposing the privatisation of Indian Railways. 

“CITU calls upon the major railway employees’ unions to take the initiative to build strong struggle of resistance and defiance to this anti-people and anti-national move of the BJP government,” the statement read. 

The CITU is already involved in the protests against the privatisation of the coal sector. 

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