“It is a secret,” quipped Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Tuesday when journalists asked him questions about the maiden Railway budget he will present on Wednesday.
With a straight face, Mr. Trivedi said one would have to wait for the presentation of the budget in the Lok Sabha after question hour.
He would neither commit himself nor deny, when questions were posed whether the proposals contained measures to cope with the financial crisis gripping the railways or safety steps to overcome the shortcomings that have led to a spate of accidents and delayed running of trains.
Finding the barrage of questions unending, Mr. Trivedi called for suggestions from reporters. When one offered the comment that fare hike was needed to raise money for improving safety and providing better amenities, he said: “That is true. One does not know if that was a hint.”
Asked if the budget would reflect his oft-repeated emphasis on safety, Mr. Trivedi said: “You will know all the aspects when I present it.”
To a query on how he intended to prevent the railways from going the Air India way, Mr. Trivedi maintained he did not want to give any preview of the proposals.
“The Railway Budget will be the way the budget should be,” he stressed, avoiding questions on what it would be, sweet or something else.