Union Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on Monday described the recent the killing of Junaid Khan at the Ballabhgarh railway station in Haryana, by a frenzied mob, as a State law and order issue.
When journalists asked Mr. Prabhu, who was in Coimbatore to discuss about the GST and its implications, about the safety of passengers on trains in the wake of the fatal assault on Junaid, he said, it was the for the State Governments to improve the safety of passengers as ‘Law and Order’ was a state subject. The Railway Ministry would work with the State governments in this regard, he added.
Inaugurating a GST registration and help desk at Makkal Sevai Maiyam, the Minister said the Indian Railways has plans to more than handhold the small and medium enterprise vendors for Goods and Services Tax roll out. He said mere hand holding of vendors would be a theoretical exercise if the Railways did not give them business.
So, while the Railways implemented the Vendor Development Programme, its capex investments amounting to ₹4.15 lakh crore would in turn benefit the SMEs. Of the ₹4.15 lakh crore, the Railways would invest around ₹40,000 crore in the short term alone for locomotive development.
The two international companies GE and Alstom would build diesel and electric locomotives for the Railways and their manufacturing in the country meant more business for their small and medium enterprise suppliers.
Likewise, the in the last three years, the Railways had committed to invest ₹1 lakh crore on railway station development alone. It had earmarked another ₹1 lakh crore for the high speed train between Mumbai and Ahmadabad.
The Minister said the Central Government was doing more to help people understand the benefits of GST, find out if there were difficulties and take remedial action wherever necessary. It was a landmark legislation brought about in a market of India’s size and that was unprecedented.
The European Union that claimed of a unified market was only one-third of India’s and in the U.S., the population was only one-third of India’s and there too the 50 states had different laws.
The GST would lead to increase in economic activity, business expansion and result in job creation. This was development ‘Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas’ (Development with and for all) in its true sense.
As for the inclusion of petrol and diesel in the GST net, the Minister said it was for the GST Council to take a call.