NEW DELHI: Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday said the National Democratic Alliance-led government had inherited a legacy where officials were just passing time, waiting for the next person to do the job.
“What we inherited in the banking sector in 2014, what were the imperatives that made banks continue to evergreen loans, continue to push the problems under the carpet and avoid taking the harsh reality of a failed management into account. If a person is the chairman for one or two years, he would work with the approach that let me just pass my time somehow, let the new guy handle it,” Goya said at the Annual India Partners Meet here.
He was speaking on the theme ‘Ideas to Implementation – Government’s Transformation Strategy’.
Goyal further said the attitude was prevalent in all the sectors which was a “challenge” for the then newly elected government.
Applauding Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Goyal said the former has primarily focused on what was good for the country.
Goyal interacted with the students and spoke about various issues pertaining to the India Railways, saying that the railways “is working beyond its capacity in most important routes”.
” As against the two and a half thousand kilometers a year of track renewal that would happen annually across Indian Railways, we are looking at doing about 4,300 kilometres. On the short run, this has caused a huge punctuality deficit. As you are expanding the track renewal programme you are going to need far more traffic block. Indian Railways is working beyond its capacity in most important routes,” added Goyal.
Goyal explained that punctuality took a big hit and “I am getting badgered on social media and newspaper articles about the delays that a lot of trains are suffering but this was still conscious call I had to take for the long-term impact it would have on Indian Railways”.
“Over the last decades, we have never focused on this area and have accumulated a large amount of bat log of track renewal, which has resulted in making Indian Railways prone to accidents. Sometimes, accidents could be serious, sometimes it could be as simple as derailments without casualty, but an accident is an accident and is prone to risk,” he added.
Goyal also said that Indian Railways passengers have a right to safe traveling while the government is going through every risk management aspect possible.
Goyal was also a part of Know India Programme (KIP), an initiative of the central government to engage with the Indian diaspora in the age group of 18 to 30 years.
About forty Indian-origin students from nine countries met Goyal on Tuesday as part of KIP.
The KIP — a 25-day orientation programme — is organised by the Ministry of External Affairs in partnership with one or two states. The participants are selected on the basis of nominations received and recommendations of Heads of Indian Missions/Posts.
Goyal congratulated the MEA for conceptualising the programme and said that it would help as a great learning tool for the visiting students to know their origins.