MPCC on Thursday said that the Maharashtra government’s decision to deposit cash into the bank accounts of beneficiaries of various government schemes, instead of giving benefits in kind to them, was ill-timed in view of demonetisation. “Due to demonetisation, there is a tremendous pressure on the banking system. Instead, the government should have assessed how many beneficiaries have bank accounts,” Sachin Sawant, spokesperson of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), told reporters.
“The decision also shows that Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis does not trust his ministers. There are 22 ministers facing various charges of irregularities, including tendering process. The decision shows that the government is not aware of the ground realities,” he alleged. In a cabinet decision taken this week, the government decided to deposit cash component of benefits of government schemes into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries instead of giving them benefits in the form of goods.
The Opposition party also sought state government’s clarification whether it had accepted the Niti Aayog’s pre-condition of automatic fare revision to get the Mumbai Urban Transport Project (MUTP)-III project approved. Sawant said if accepted, the decision is expected to burden the railway suburban commuters in Mumbai. “The state government should clarify if it has accepted this decision,” he said. Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared MUTP-III project worth over Rs 10,000 crore as part of the ambitious urban transport project in Mumbai. In February, the Niti Aayog had given its “in-principle approval” to the project, with a rider that the railways will have to go in for “fare reforms”, implying “automatic and regular revision of fares in tandem with the price index”.
Sawant said the MUTP III project has excluded the CAB signalling system, which was to be introduced on the harbour railway line as a pilot project. “The state government, the Centre and the World Bank were to share the expenditure of Rs 4,000 crore (for this system). But the government has put the introduction of the system on the back-burner. The system would have lowered the risk of accidents and increased frequency of trains,” he said. Fadnavis government needs to explain why the commuters were deprived of this facility, he said.