New Delhi: Maoist attacks have led to 217 disruptions in the movement of trains as a result of which the Railways have suffered a loss of Rs1,000 crore, reports PTI quoting railway minister Mamata Banerjee.
Describing the matter as "sensitive", she said this has also led to 416 cancellation (of trains) while 70 mail trains have been affected due to 75 bandhs called by Maoists.
"I appeal to them that this should not happen," Banerjee said during the Question Hour in the Rajya Sabha.
She, however, refused to get provoked when opposition members asked whether those responsible for Jnaneshwari Express accident were present in her Lalgarh rally.
When Balbir Punj (BJP) wanted to know whether the Jnaneshwari Express accident was a case of sabotage, Ms Banerjee said, "Let me deal with the issue impartially and not politically. Prima facie the mishap looks like a case of sabotage... Bomb blast. The CBI is probing the matter."
Ganga Charan (BSP) wondered as to why trains were increasingly being attacked by Maoists, "when she holds a soft corner for them".
Without getting provoked, she said during 2009-10, a total of 100 consequential train accidents took place, 64 persons died and railway property worth Rs54 crore was lost. Seven of these mishaps were caused by bomb blasts.
"Policing on railways is a state matter and prevention of crime, registration of cases, their investigation and maintenance of law and order is the statutory responsibility of the state police, which they discharge through Government Railway Police (GRP) of the state concerned," she said.
To a supplementary as to whether senior railway officials have been suspended after rail accidents, she said many Divisional Railway Managers (DRMs) have been either suspended or transferred in the past.
"Whenever there is an offence and somebody is found guilty, action is taken. We have a system of internal inquiry in such matters. However, we need to be more stringent," she said.
Listing measures to prevent sabotage of trains, she said trains are escorted by RPF and GRP personnel at vulnerable sections.
An integrated security system has been approved to strengthen surveillance mechanism at 202 vulnerable stations, while Railway Board is maintaining close coordination with the home ministry, she added.
New Delhi: State-owned Coal India Ltd (CIL) is likely to get listed by October and may be accorded the Maharatna tag by 2010 end, while BHEL has to wait for at least a year to be awarded with the coveted tag, reports PTI quoting a senior official.
At present, there are four Maharatnas-Oil & Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Steel Authority of India Ltd (SAIL) and NTPC.
"...CIL will become our fifth Maharatna once its public issue goes through. We were hoping by the end of October and it is pretty much in line with that," secretary in the Department of Public Enterprises (DPE) Bhaskar Chatterjee said here.
When asked if the company would become a Maharatna by the year end, he said, "Yes." He was talking to reporters on the sidelines of All India Management Association function.
CIL, the world's largest coal-miner, would be entitled for greater financial freedom once it gets Maharatna status.
On power major BHEL's qualification for the coveted title Mr Chatterjee said, "BHEL will take at least a year or two (to qualify for the status). It is doing well otherwise but they need to meet minimum norms that will take a little while."
A company needs to have a three-year track record of annual net profit of over Rs5,000 crore, net worth of more than Rs15,000 crore and turnover of more than Rs25,000 crore, besides being listed on bourses to be eligible for the Maharatna status.
CIL, with about four lakh employees, had turnover Rs52,000 crore in fiscal 2009-10. It has had over Rs5,000 crore profit in the past three years.
However, BHEL does not fulfil the net profit requirement criteria to qualify for Maharatna.
BHEL's turnover was Rs33,173.34 crore in 2009-10.
However, the company's annual average net profit was Rs3,433 crore during the last three years.
Maharatna scheme was announced by the government last December to give more operational freedom to the top-performing PSUs.
New Delhi: Total outstanding loans under the government's Educational Loan Scheme were over Rs34,000 crore in 2009-10, reports PTI.
However, no decision has been taken to set up a credit guarantee fund for the scheme, minister of state for finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
He said total outstanding loans under the scheme were Rs34,192 as on 31st March this year. The amount of outstanding loan under the Educational Loan Scheme during 2007-08 and 2008-09 was Rs19,817 crore and Rs27,646 crore, respectively.
During the previous three fiscals the number of accounts under it also increased from 12.47 lakh in 2007-08 to 18.51 lakh in 2009-10, Mr Meena added.
Replying to a question on plans to set up a credit guarantee fund for the scheme, the minister said: "No such proposal is under consideration. The government has not taken any decision to set up a credit guarantee fund in this regard."
Mr Meena said the ministry of human resources development has circulated an interest subsidy scheme on educational loan for economically weaker sections (EWS) to banks in May this year, which is for students in recognised technical and professional courses.
"In terms of the scheme, full interest subsidy would be provided by government during the period of moratorium/study and would be applicable to students from EWS with a parental upper income limit of Rs4.50 lakh," he added.