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Sonia Gandhi attacks government over privatisation of rail coach factory in Rae Bareli, Rail Minister Piyush Goyal hits back

Former Congress president Sonia Gandhi said that the government has put the future of employees at stake in order to benefit the industrialists. 

Sonia Gandhi attacks government over privatisation of rail coach factory in Rae Bareli, Rail Minister Piyush Goyal hits back

NEW DELHI: UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Tuesday raised the issue of privatisation of Modern Rail Coach Factory in Rae Bareli during Zero Hour. Sonia said that the government has sold the land belonging to MCF at throwaway prices. She added that the future of 2,000 employees working at this factory is in limbo due to the government's move.

Launching a direct attack on the BJP-led government at the Centre, the former Congress president said that the government has put the future of employees at stake in order to benefit the industrialists. Sonia also claimed that the employees at MCF are not getting salaries too. She demanded that the government must respect the feelings of workers at the rail coach factory.

Rail Minister Piyush Goyal responded to Sonia Gandhi by saying that corporatisation is not privatisation. He added that the government is planning to establish a new Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) named “Indian Railway Rolling Stock Company” under the Ministry of Railways and the production units including MCF, Raebareli, would be shifted under the new PSU.

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Goyal remarked that these factories will remain under the control of government but the management will get better as these production units will become fully functional PSUs. According to Goyal, this will help drive technology partnership and modernisation. Goyal said that PSUs are government controlled units but they function in a more autonomous and efficient manner. They give better output and their employees have better facilities than the employees working for government sector. Goyal assured that his ministry will hold consultations with unions and ensure no harm comes to employees

Goyal said that the foundation stone of Modern Coach Factory (MCF), Raebareli was laid in February 2007 during UPA regime but the construction began only in May 2010. The factory was slated to produce 1,000 coaches. Between 2011-14, it only did minor work on some coaches brought from Kapurthala. Only 375 coaches were “refurbished” between 2011 to 2014 whereas it should have been fully manufacturing coaches.