Railways must concentrate on enhancing the carrying capacity of the Container Corporation of India instead of opening entry of private players in the field, a Parliamentary committee has suggested.
In its 26th Report presented to Parliament, the Standing Committee on Railways expressed dissatisfaction over government’s reply that privatisation of container traffic will expose the Container Corporation of India Ltd to turbulent market forces.
The government was also of the view that growth in container cargo will introduce strong competition amongst all players in the container traffic business and without adequate measures to insulate CONCOR from various market risks, the private players are likely to eat into the revenue of CONCOR thus adversely affecting its economic health.
The Committee, headed by Basudeb Acharia, noted that till recently the CONCOR used to be the sole operator under the administrative control of the Ministry engaged in moving container trains on Indian Railways.
However, the Ministry of Railways announced a policy on 1 May, 2006 to permit various Indian Public/Private Sector Companies/persons either individually or in joint venture registered in India to move container trains on the four categorised routes.
The Minister for Railways, while presenting the Rail Budget 2006-07, informed Parliament that the policy of permitting private parties to run container trains had been well received and 14 applicants had already deposited Rs 540 crore as registration fee.