Varanasi, Dec 25: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday ruled out privatisation of Railways while asking trade unions to stop worrying about foreign investments coming in the sector, saying these will be used for greater development of the national transporter.
"There is a misunderstanding that Railways is being privatised. However, I want to make it clear that we are not privatising Railways. We cannot go in this direction. You don't have to worry. It is neither our wish nor thinking," he said.
The Prime Minister was obviously seeking to dispel apprehensions among railway unions over the issue. The unions had even planned to hold protest against the proposal to invite FDI in railways.
"I want to ask the union leaders how is it worrying if funds come in pounds or dollars," he said and asked railwaymen whether they welcome it or not and whether it should be done or not.
Asserting that he would not want Railways to be merely a means of transport, he said he wants to make it the engine of growth in the country.
"I want to show more development in Railways than what has happened in the last 60 years," Modi said while dedicating to the nation a modern, air-conditioned passenger train engine and inaugurating a project for expansion of the Diesel Locomotive Workshop here.
He said instead of utilising money meant for poor to fund Railways to keep it alive, the government wants to pool resources from the rich and soft loans from abroad to finance the national transporter.