Mamata stunner before budget, says no future for Rly without PPP

Promises corporate honchos that even core activities will be privatised

GN Bureau | February 8, 2010


Mamata Banerjee at a pre-budget interaction in New Delhi on Saturday
Mamata Banerjee at a pre-budget interaction in New Delhi on Saturday

Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee has said she would throw open even the core operations of the railways to the private players. Cominng from Mamata, who quite enjoys the reputation as the one-woman army who drove the Tata Nano out of West Bengal, that is quite a stunner. Especially because all this while the railways have not talked about privatising core operations.

Mamata made this welcome promisewhile interacting with representatives of industry and commerce bodies in New Delhi on Saturday. She said without the help of the private players it would not be possible to achieve the Vision 2020 goals of the railways.

“Everything in the railways from A to Z right from preparing programmes to manufacturing its components, to setting up industrial units, and laying tracks need you cooperation,” she said.

She asked the private sector to come up with their proposals and plan of action for setting up manufacturing units or any work they intend to take up.

The railways is likely to open up areas that include manufacturing of components of diesel and electric engines, wagons, construction of tracks, induction of technology, construction of stations and safety related aspects.

It wasn't long ago when she fought tooth and nail against the Tata's Nano project in Singur, forcing the company to shift the plant to Gujarat. It was her agitation against the Tatas that saw the Nandigram agitation against setting up an industrial hub getting a boost and again, holding up the state government's plans.

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