New Delhi: Bibek Debroy, economist and chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, has said he had not urged the government to rethink its plans for electrification of the railway network and replacement of its diesel fleet.
A media report had last week said Debroy had sent a note to the PMO and Rail Bhawan asking the government to rethink the railways’ 100% electrification mission. At the launch of his books, Bharat Vapas Patri Par and Bharatiya Rail, Desh Ki Jeevan Rekha on Wednesday, Debroy said his interaction with the railway ministry and railway minister Piyush Goyal was a continuous one.
“I have not written any note suggesting a rethink on the electrification of the railway network. Let me categorically state that the things that are floating around about my having written a note are completely wrong," Debroy said. “I have had discussions with the railway minister. We exchange views, that’s the way it should be in any organisation, including the government. To start off, we do not necessarily agree, but we exchange views and then we try to understand each others views," he said.
Railway minister Piyush Goyal, who released the books, said he was in touch with Debroy who over time had advised him on various issues. “It cannot be that I am perfect in everything... We take ideas from former railway colleagues, from people who have experience of different systems of the world. I have always maintained that we as a government are not like ostrich, we are always open to discussions. Discussions are healthy and we have had healthy dialogues with him (Debroy)", he said.
Goyal said there was no rethink on the plans for the complete electrification of the railways and it was on schedule.