No.AIRF/24(C) Dated: August 6, 2015
The General Secretaries,
All Affiliated Unions,
Sub: Brief of the meeting held today with the Hon’ble Minister for Railways to discuss the report of the HLRRC
A meeting was held today in the chamber of Hon’ble Minister for Railways, Shri Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, to discuss the report of the High Level Railway Restructuring Committee, constituted under the chairmanship of Dr. Bibek Deb Roy, wherein along with the Presidents and General Secretaries of both the Federations, CRB, MS and ED(IR), were also present.
At the outset, Hon’ble MR assured the Federations that, there will not be any privatization in the Railways, but at the same time private capital has also become essential, without that we will not be able to develop the Railways. He said that, if we want to increase the productivity, we have to think something out of box. He further said that, new agreements between the State Governments, Ports and Coal India, have yielded very good result, and the Railways is going to be benefitted. He also stated that, he will ask Dr. Bibek Deb Roy Committee to discuss the report submitted by them. He further stated that, if any issue remained unresolved, the same will be discussed by the Board, MoSR and himself separately. Hon’ble MR told that, he is doing whatever is best for the Railways as also its users.
General Secretary AIRF, Com. Shiva Gopal Mishra, though expressed its confidence in the MR, said that, this private capital will definitely bring privatization in the Railways. He also mentioned that, they have already given in writing and also discussed with the Hon’ble MR and MoSR that this sort of report will create lot of dissatisfaction among the Railwaymen and the rail users. He also mentioned that, industrial relation becoming tough. It has been observed since past a few months that the settled issues are being unsettled, PLB is one of the examples. We do not agree to the formula envisaged by the Railway Board and demand that the formula of 1979 should continue.
General Secretary AIRF said that, he has fear that, borrowing of so much money can create over- capitalization, and from where we will be able to return the money with interest. It may lead to Railways bankruptcy. Hon’ble MR said, it will not be possible, moreover, Government of India will stand surety.
The Member Staff Railway Board mentioned that, new PLB formula is being considered because of the consistent pressure from the Ministry of Finance, and because capital is also play an important role, that is why Railway Board have suggested to the Federations to consider the role of capital too. Reacting on that, General Secretary AIRF stated that, this is not correct, we do not have any role in rationalization of fare for augmentation of rolling stock, running of trains on enumerative railway lines, projects which are loss making, then why the role of capital should be included in it.
The CRB also supported the views of the Federations.
Hon’ble MR said that the issues related to industrial relations are his responsibility and he will see that the problems are resolved amicably.
General Secretary AIRF mentioned that, the issues which had been resolved in Full Board Meeting, held on 07.02.2014, and after subsequent discussion, are also still not implemented.
He demanded that the issues raised by the Staff Side must be resolved in a time-bound programme.
He told the Hon’ble MR that many issues, like regularization of the Course Completed Act Apprentices, absorption of quasi-administrative staff in the Railways, LARSGESS issues, are pending in spite of fruitful discussion on these issues, and demanded that these issues should immediately be looked into.
President AIRF, while protesting against the report of Dr .Bibek Deb Roy Committee, mentioned that, when money can be given for construction of roads, ports, and even Cess on petrol and diesel has been raised for the Highways, why same treatment is not being given to the Railways.
He also mentioned that, if a full-fledged discussion is held, he will be able to prove that the Railways can improve without considering the formulas of Dr. Bibek Deb Roy Committee and others. He strongly opposed the report of Dr. Bibek Deb Roy Committee.
He also mentioned that, at present, average speed of passenger trains is 50 kmph and goods trains is around 25 kmph. With this speed also we are ahead of all the advanced countries in per man productivity in passenger service. If we could increase passenger train speed from 50 to 80 kmph and goods train speed from 25 to 50, our efficiency and productivity will be increased manifold and the Indian Railways will be number one in the world.
President AIRF said that, the Railwaymen are emotionally attached with the PLB. Any tinkering with PLB formula will fell upon the Industrial Relation in the Railways. He sought the intervention of the Railway Minister to resolve the impasse.
While concluding, Hon’ble MR said –
- Full-fledged meeting will be organized with Dr. Bibek Deb Roy, and Member Staff Railway Board will coordinate;
- The issue of industrial relations will also be given top priority;
- Again assurance that there will be no privatization in the Railways.
With fraternal greetings!