March 16, 2015
Trinamool MPs slam the Government on the Railway Budget 2015-16
Trinamool MPs Derek O’Brien and Nadimul Haque slammed the Railway Budget 2015-16 in Rajya Sabha, calling it anti common people.
Derek O’ Brien raised the issue of allocation of funds for pending projects in Bengal and gave suggestions regarding passenger and falling freight issue. He pointed out the current document was almost identical to the Vision 2020 document made in the time of Mamata Banerjee as Railway Minister.
Derek O’Brien pointed out that on counts of doubling, gauge conversion, growth of freight loading, growth of passengers originating, Railways performed much better during the tenure of Mamata Banerjee as the Railway Minister, rather than in 2013-14. He also asked the Minister to have a relook on the accounting system, which presently works on a system, which is 95 year old. He reiterated the stand of not supporting FDI in Railways.
“Freight in the Railways has come down from 60% to something like 30%. This is a big loss. I want to make here is that you have to stop competing with road and become a partner of the roads. Like Procter and Gamble (P&G), you should become Prabhu and Gadkari (P&G). Both of you have to work together,” saying that there should be unity in rail and road sector.
He criticised the Government for cutting down the allocations for metro projects and workshops and hollow promise of ‘look east’. He urged the current Government to preserve the only steam engine train run in Darjeeling which is a national heritage.
Nadimul Haque called this Budget as anti poor. He termed this to be a joke on the poor people. He slammed the Government for not looking towards the backward region of the country. Despite the fact, that oil prices have decreased, the Government has increased the freight fares, which will hurt the common people and prices of essential goods will increase.
“Railway along with being a National Asset is also a strategic Defense Asset where the PPP model will only benefit corporates. Railway is th elifeline of India’s large population, do not treat it just as a commercial entity”, he said.