Budget 2020

High on semantics, says Opposition

The Minister has pulled a fast one on the people, says the Congress.

The Minister has pulled a fast one on the people, says the Congress.  

The government’s heart is with the elite, not the poor: Congress

The Bharatiya Janata Party has been quick to pat itself on the back for announcing a Railway Budget that has not spelt a hike in fares, and claims to lead the railways on the path of innovation and new approaches. But its political opponents have dismissed the budget as being high only on semantics.

The Congress was critical and said Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu had “pulled a fast one” on the people by failing to lower fares despite the downturn in global crude prices. “A trained Chartered Accountant has derailed the budget. They could have lowered the fares, a series of dreams have been peddled and the government seems to have lost connectivity with the rural people” said party spokesman Rajiv Gowda. The Congress also expressed disappointment that no new trains had been announced. It took a pot shot at the government saying, “the budget shows that the heart of the NDA government is with the elite and not with the poor.”

The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) said the Railway Budget was high on hyperbole but low on content. In a statement, the party said: “During the first three years of the 12th Five Year Plan, the railways received only Rs. 1.5 lakh crore for investment. Yet, the Railway Minister bombastically promised that in the coming five years, this will increase to Rs. 8.56 lakh crore.”

Not impressed with the Minister for not raising the fares, the CPI (M) said the revised estimates showed that the traffic growth had declined, there were 4.6 crore less originating passengers and passenger earnings were short by Rs. 968 crore proving earlier fare hikes to be counterproductive.

“Given this, there should not be any euphoria over passenger fares not being raised. The gross traffic receipts were Rs. 492 crores as compared to the revised estimates,” it said.

Borrowing from an advertisement, former Railway Minister and TMC leader Dinesh Trivedi said the budget had fooled the people. “It is like they say in the advertisement, what an idea sirji, but then it is only fooling people.”

The government’s ally Shiv Sena too was unhappy with the budget.

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Printable version | May 29, 2020 11:57:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/budget/railway-budget-2015-high-on-semantics-says-opposition/article6937839.ece

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