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Rail Budget lacks roadmap: Oppn

Parties also wondered whether the centre would slash fares as oil prices had fallen sharply.

By: Press Trust of India | New Delhi |
March 12, 2015 6:19:30 pm
suresh prabhu, rail budget, suresh prabhu rail budget, suresh prabhu rail budget Suresh Prabhu’s first Rail Budget received heavy flak from the opposition for lacking roadmap.

Opposition in Lok Sabha today targetted the government for its “failure” to present a roadmap for future investments in Railways and wondered whether it would slash fares as oil prices had fallen sharply.

Participating in the discussion on Railway Budget, M K Raghavan (Cong) said the Budget does not provide detailed explanation of the source of the proposed Rs 8 lakh crore investment envisaged over five year period.

“It is just fudging of numbers and selling of dreams without any roadmap. The Budget is disappointing… It is not a budget for common man. The government has failed to present a roadmap,” he said.

Attacking BJP-led government for raising ticket prices in May last year on the plea of rising oil prices, Tariq Anwar (NCP) wondered if Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu would reduce passenger fares now when these prices have declined sharply.

He also sought concrete action from the government to ensure that passengers get confirmed reservation.

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On a lighter vein, Samajwadi Party member Akshay Yadav welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s gesture of having lunch at the Railway Canteen in Parliament, but said MPs should also start taking food provided to general category people in train and shed the VIP culture.

He also demanded that a new train ‘Jansadharan’ with 60 per cent unreserved seats should be started for the benefit of poor and farmers. He also demanded six general compartments in
every train.

Tapas Mandal (TMC) too expressed opposition to the Budget saying it it lacked any specific allocation for projects across the country.

Maintaining that several projects initiated by TMC chief Mamata Banerjee in her tenure as Railway Minister still remained incomplete because of lack of allocation in subsequent budgets, Mandal said the Budget was “unique in giving discomfort to the people of West Bengal” as it had provided nothing to improve Kolkata metro rail connectivity.

Observing that Railways should be made self-sufficient, Vijay Hansdak (JMM) said it should not depend on FDI and PPPs for sustenance.

However, Hema Malini (BJP) dubbed the Bugdet as practical and pragmatic and said “it looks like Modi express has steamed off in right direction”.

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