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Goyal is in a hurry

Pushes railway privatisation

PIYUSH Vedprakash Goyal currently holds two important portfolios–Railways and Commerce–in the Government of India. He is an old RSS hand. His father Ved Prakash Goyal was also the treasurer of the BJP and has served as the Minister in Vajpayee government. He used to be in the loyalists group of the late Arun Jaitley but after the latter’s demise, Goyal has completely aligned himself with Amit Shah. He is also considered to be close to the most powerful industrialist of Mumbai. Goyal does not like the naysayers in the ministry. He is a man in a hurry. He wants to implement the privatisation agenda in the Railways with rocket-like speed but it is not possible without major changes in the administrative system of Railways. The former Chairman of Railways and Air India Ashwani Lohani handled the minister with care. There are proposals pending worth nearly Rs 2 lakh crore for upgradation of the Railways. Of this, approximately Rs 1 lakh crore pertains to modernisation of signalling. Goyal tried hard to make Lohani understand the move for a 4G signalling system, but with a mere 50 km railway track testing done in the world, Lohani did not want to put 67,000 km track at risk, so he kept the decision in abeyance. When the issue of Lohani’s extension came up before the CCA, Goyal put his foot down and VK Yadav was appointed as the new Chairman of the Railway Board. Yadav’s one-year extension as Chairman gains significance in view of the restructuring exercise which includes trimming of the Board and the merger of its cadres. Yadav is his master’s voice. It’s to be seen in the next four years who will be benefitted by the privatisation, the common man or greedy industrialists.

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