Thursday, September 10, 2020

THE CHAIRMAN 

RAILWAY BOARD   RAIL BHAVAN 

NEW DELHI-110001 

Respected Sir, 

Sub: Proceedings of the virtual CWC meeting of AILRSA held on 3rd and 4th of September 2020. 

The Central Working Committee of this Association was held on the virtual platform on 3rd and 4th of September 2020. The meeting was presided by a presidium consisting of Com. L.Mony, Central President and Com. N.B.Dutta, Working President. As many as 32 delegates representing 17 zones deliberated on the agenda. The meeting adopted the following resolutions. 

Resolution on Privatisation of Railways: 

The Central Government is driving the implementation of recommendations of Bibek Debroy Committee in a faster pace of a Bullet Train. Debroy report is a master plan to unbundle the Railways, then to lease out the Railway property to private train operators and finally to sell the enormous assets of Indian Railway gathered by many generations from 1856. 

Abandoning of Railway budget was the first step in the implementation process of the destructive policy, which was an action purely intended to camouflage the destructive reforms in Railways from the scrutiny of the Parliament and there by the people of India who are the real owners of the huge wealth and also the prime beneficiary of this mammoth public sector Enterprise. The reforms in Indian Railways from early 90s to 2016 were aimed at privatisation of non - core sector. But the reforms after 2016 were aimed to lease out the entire asset of Indian Railways to Private Train Operators and then to hand over the assets too to the Corporates. 

Then came the ‘100 days action programme’ with a clear indication of unbundling of Indian Railways and handing over train operation to private entities. Unbundling means breaking the Indian Railways to numerous splinter companies, trusts or Corporations. One for owning and maintaining track, one for owning assets like Train Engines, wagons and coaches, one for owning the land and buildings, one for railway construction and maintenance works, one for Konkan Railway, one for dedicated freight service, one for telecommunication, one for rolling stock maintenance and another one for rolling stock production etc. etc. Handing over of operation of Thejus trains to IRCTC is the trial run of leasing out the Railway assets to Private. Announcement of RFQ (Request For Qualification) for 151 pairs of private trains in 109 selected profitable routes and the proposal for bidding is the death knell of the Government owned Railway in India. 

Then came the ‘starting whistle’ for administrative reforms vide Order dated 02.09.2020 converting CRB to CEO and also reverting Sri. Rajesh Tiwari Member (Traction) as Officer on special duty (Safety) and surrendering 3 apex posts of Member (Staff), Member (Engineering) and Member (Rolling stock). This Order is the first step not only towards disintegrating and weakening of the Railway Board, but also for large scale surrender of posts to the tune of 5.7 Lakhs as recommended by Debroy. Railway Board had already ordered for ban on recruitment, surrender of 50% vacant posts and restrictions on OT, TA and other allowances. Multi skilling aimed for staff reduction is on the anvil. 

At present Railway Board is the Central secretariat to Railway Ministry and is the policy maker on Rail industry, the rule makers and also the executive body. The final aim of the reforms is to take away policy making and rule making powers from Railway Board and reduce it to the status of an executive body of 17 Zonal Railways which are converted as independent train operating companies which do not possess any assets but few Loco Pilots, Guards and TTEs. Those 17 operating companies will have the liberty to compete with hundreds of private train operators to gain lease agreement for train sets from IRFC(Indian Railway Finance Corporation who owns rolling stock) path for the train from IRIC(Indian Railway Infrastructure Corporation who owns the track after implementing the reforms) and also for gaining passengers and goods booking with private train operators. 

The present move to unbundle the Railway and thereby privatize / corporatize the production / maintenance/ operations of Railways if unchecked, may lead to enormous increase of ticket rates, season ticket fares, cancellation of subsidies allowed to students, senior citizen, differently abled (Divyang) persons, patients etc. This will also scatter the job prospects of many educated unemployed youth, reservation policies of Government, the security on job, salary and pension of the Railway employees. This will be a threat to the National Integrity and also stall the development of underdeveloped rural areas. The cost of social obligation undertaken by Railways was Rs.40,000 crores and the pension liability was Rs.46,000 crores last year. Privatisation of Indian Railways will result in transfer of those liabilities to the Government exchequer or withdrawal of such social securities. 

Aligning to the proverb “every journey of thousand miles begins with a single step”. Railways started implementing its Human Resource Management by compulsorily retiring ex Central President of AISMA last year and now DOPT has laid down a policy guideline on it. The target fixed by Debroy is to screen every employee at the 20th year of service for pre mature termination, and thereby to torpedo the job security of Government employees enshrined in article 311 of Indian Constitution. This CWC meeting vehemently protest against the anti - labour and anti - people policies of privatization of Railways, other PSUs and various service sectors. 

So this Association calls upon all Railway men, Railway trade unions, Rail users, all Central Trade Unions, all democratic forces and people of India to launch a strong movement of “Save Railway to Save India” to reverse the present destructive policies and strengthen the Railways as a Government owned public utility service to serve the common mass.The virtual CWC meeting of AILRSA held on 3rd and 4th September 2020 decided to trumpet the call for a united movement “Save Railways to Save India”. 

Program of action aganist Privatisation: 

1. Secretary General shall initiate to convene a virtual meeting of Railway Trade Unions within this month to form a national coordination Committee for “Save Railways to Save India” campaign. All out efforts to be taken to organise the trade unions, democratic forces, rail users, youth organisations, students and the general public to join the campaign.. 

2. Com. K. C. James shall take the responsibilities to contact all Railway trade unions and prominent leaders in SR, SWR and SCR. 

3. Com. Chandan Sarkar and Com.Paras kumar shall be responsible for ER, SER, E Coast, ECR, SECR, NFR and Metro. 

4. Com. M. P. Deo shall be responsible for CR, WR, NCR and WCR 

5. Com. Padom Singh shall be responsible for NR, NER and NWR. 

All Zonal, Divisional committees shall undertake intensive campaign against ill effects of Privatisation through Leaflets, door to door campaign, webinar etc to enlighten our cadre and prepare them to take anti-privatisation movement ahead. 

Thanking you 

                                                                                                      Yours faithfully 

                                                                                                       ( M.N.Prasad) 
                                         
                                                                                                           Secretary General


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