Minister of Railways and Commerce & Industry Piyush Goyal on Monday while addressing a virtual rally on the completion of one year of Modi Govt. 2.0 said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given the Armed Forces a free hand to assess the ground situation and that India has also conveyed that we will protect our nation with every possible tool at our command and no stone will be left unturned to keep our border safe and ensure peace in the region, in an apparent reference to India-China face-off at the Galwan Valley in Ladakh, even though he did not take any names.

Goyal added that in the last six years PM Modi has taken development to every nook and corner and to the remotest parts of India and the country is proud of its young boys and girls who are thinking of innovative ideas and innovative solutions to problems adding that the government is consistently looking at startup ecosystem.

On the COVID issue, the minister said that Railways remains committed to help the country fight COVID-19 pandemic and do whatever it takes to help the country fight the pandemic.

“Railways’ innovative step to provide COVID-19 care in coaches has been initiated,” he informed adding that 59 suspected patients were admitted at Mau Junction in Varanasi Division and eight of them have already been discharged.

He reiterated that there are huge opportunities for businesses in Railways as the ministry is willing to lease out traffic routes and parcel trains to them. He said the Railways is going to start 150 private trains to move passengers and invited the private sector to participate in that.

“Private sector can support in a million ways. I am going to lease out new routes, in the sense that I am going to say that okay, you (private players) identify the route (where) you want to set up a train service.

“If you want, we are willing to co-invest with you in new lines. We are willing to lease out traffic routes, we are willing to lease out parcel trains. So, there are a lot of opportunities opening up for the private sector,” said Goyal.