Editorial by Dr. M. Raghavaiah, General Secretary,
National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) in their monthly journal,
INDIAN RAIL WORKER, November 2021
MONETIZATION OF RAILWAY ASSETS NOT IN THE INTEREST OF NATION AND RAIL WORKFORCE
The Monetization policy announced by the Government of India concerning to the sale of public assets which includes major sectors like Indian Railways, Road Transport, Power, Telecom, Warehousing, Mining, Aviation, Ports, Stadiums including Railway Stadiums as well Urban Real Estates is anti-people, anti-worker and anti-poor, therefore the National Federation of Indian Railwaymen (NFIR) opposes the Government’s decision.
While framing the policy, the Government ignored the fact that these vital assets belong to the whole Nation and are not personal to anyone. It is sad that the Government has failed to recognize the role of Indian Railways which is the lifeline of the Nation as it is providing services to all sections of people more importantly the poor and downtrodden of the country. Over 2.30 crore people of India travel by Railway Trains per day and Indian Railways has made significant achievement by transporting over 1234 Million Tones freight in the year 2020-21 facing the Covid-19 Pandemic and ensured uninterrupted supply line to the entire nation. Instead rewarding the Indian Railways and its workforce, the Government has been resorting to monetization of vital assets to benefit few individual monopolists.
NFIR and rail workforce is of the view that to allow private operators to run the trains using nation’s P. Way Tracks, Stations, Signaling etc. would be highly improper but sadly the Government wants to become facilitator to encourage private entities to use nation’s assets and earn heavy profits at the cost of nation and common people. Another key point is hikes in fares will be resorted to, by the private companies which would render the Indian Railways out of reach of lower income groups of Indian population. If private entities are allowed to operate the passenger trains, the people of India will suffer very badly as the private individuals will charge ticket fare exorbitantly since there will be no control on them.
The Government of Indian should review its decision for monetization of Railway assets, handing over of passenger trains to private entities and corporatization of Production Units in the interest of nation and equally Rail Workforce since the Railway employees are anguish and agitated against the decision of the Government of India.