The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, today declared categorically that the Indian Railways would not be privatized. He was addressing a gathering in Varanasi after the commencement of expansion of the Diesel Locomotive Works. He asserted that his aim was to ensure that the modernization and growth of railways is facilitated through private investment, and not through public funds which are the property of the poor, and should be used to fulfil their basic needs including health and education. He said private investment would be used to modernize Railways and make it service-oriented, so that it could become an engine of growth for the nation.
Shri Narendra Modi said 4 rail universities would be established to ensure proper and well-trained human resource for the Railways. He said the Railways should not be seen as just a means of transport, but should become the backbone of economic development. He exhorted Railway workers to ensure that the best service in India is provided by the Indian Railways.
The Prime Minister, who earlier flagged off the new high horsepower diesel locomotive, described this as an example of India`s indigenous capabilities, and an illustration of his vision of Make in India. He recalled former Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri`s slogan of "Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan" and said the slogan had inspired farmers to make India self-reliant in food production. He expressed hope that "Make in India" would inspire us to become self reliant in all our needs.
The Prime Minister also said the postal and railway networks of India could be leveraged to become drivers of rural development.
The Union Minister for Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhu, was present on the occasion.