Privatisation of the railways will create a win-win situation for both the Indian railways as well as the investors, and also the users, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said on Thursday, addressing a joint press meet, along with Railway Board chairman VK Yadav.
“It is like when private banks were set up in India. So many private players came in the banking sector. But that didn’t lead SBI to shut. Private investment will bring in newer technologies. It will create competition in the railway sector. Competition will increase efficiency and reduce fare — in the long run,” Kant said.
On airport-like user charge to be levied for redeveloped railway stations, Railway Board chairman VK Yadav said the charge, which will translate to a hike in railway fare, will be nominal. “The user charge will be nominal. Also, the charge will be applicable only for redeveloped stations. Not all stations are being redeveloped at present,” Yadav said.
On the issue of private players being able to determine their own fares — as it has been decided by the Indian Railways — the railway Board chairman said as there will be competition from bus fares and air fares, private players will, in no circumstances, charge exorbitant fares.