He has informed that last year has been remarkable for railways both in terms of safety and performance. Commenting on Commerce and Industry, Goyal informed that, the government took several steps to promote exports as well as protect the interests of domestic industries.
All unmanned level crossings were eliminated in the country whereas 1,274 manned crossings were removed. Commissioning of new line, doubling and gauge conversion increased to 2,226 kilometer in 2019-20.
Goyal informed that this was nearly 50 per cent more than the average annual commissioning achieved during 2009-14. He informed that, the punctuality of trains has also improved significantly by nearly 10 per cent over the last year. Goyal said that even during the testing times of COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Railways ensured uninterrupted and round the clock freight operations of essential commodities like foodgrains, coal, salt, sugar, milk, edible oil, among others.
He also highlighted the operationalisation of Shramik Special trains which have carried more than 50 lakh migrant workers to their home states till now. Railways has also distributed over 75 lakh free meals to migrants so far.
Goyal also cited the innovative step through which Railways created COVID care centres in its coaches with facility of more than 3 lakh beds. Speaking about the steps taken in commerce sector , he highlighted Prime Minister’s decision to abstain from joining RCEP , a decision which will help the domestic workers and small and medium enterprises in the country.
He said , India is also engaging to resolve all outstanding issues with the USA, South Korea and Japan to boost exports, and is also working to initiate dialogue with European Union.
He said that with an objective of reducing excessive dependence on non-essential imports, duty was increased on 89 items and restrictions were imposed on 13 items benefitting lakhs of domestic workers. The minister said, FDI inflow in the country grew by 18.4 per cent in 2019-20 to reach 73.46 billion dollar. He also mentioned how the reforms introduced by Narendra Modi government has catapulted India’s ranking in terms of ease of doing business.