June 6, 2023

UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi Tuesday raised in the Lok Sabha the issue of corporatisation of railways’ Modern Coach Factory in her Rae Bareli constituency and accused the government of selling the country’s assets to private players at throwaway prices, a charge that was immediately denied by the Railways.

“Sonia Gandhi is incorrect… Corporatisation is not privatisation,” a Railways official said.

Earlier, the UPA chairperson while criticising the decision said during the Zero Hour in Lok Sabha, “Those who don’t understand the real meaning of corporatisation….It is actually the first step towards privatisation. They are selling the country’s assets to handful of private players at a throwaway price. This will leave thousands unemployed,” she said.

The railways official, however, said the corporatisation involved making a government PSU “Indian Railway Rolling Stock Company” under the Ministry of Railways, and shifting the Production units including Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Rae Bareli to that.

This means they will remain under government control but will be better managed as these production units will become fully functional PSUs. This will help drive technology partnership and modernisation, the official added.

“Railways will consult with unions and ensure no harm comes to employees and will also ensure best utilisation of taxpayers’ funds,” the official said.

Taking a dig at the government, Gandhi said in the Lok Sabha that the unit (in Rae Bareli) was started during the UPA regime to promote “Make in India”, an initiative of the Modi government.

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