Left parties flay move to ‘privatise’ railways

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: The State units of CPI(M) and CPI on Wednesday criticised the move to privatise the railways in the Railway Budget proposal tabled by Minister Mamata Banerjee in the Lok Sabha.

While CPI(M) State committee said the Budget appeared to have opened the doors for privatisation in the name of public-private partnership, CPI secretary K. Narayana felt that allowing private companies to run goods trains amounted to gradual privatisation. The CPI(M) demanded immediate release of funds for pending projects. It described the proposed wagon factory as ‘eyewash’.

Directionless, says KCR

TRS president K. Chandrasekhar Rao said the Railway Budget was directionless and hardly made any sense to Telangana. He said the budget proposed a new line between Nizamabad and Ramagundam though both were rail heads. The Centre wanted to take up the project without completing the Nizamabad – Peddapally line which had been pending for nearly 15 years.

Lok Satta Party president Jayaprakash Narayan suggested each railway zone be given total autonomy and treated as an independent profit centre. An autonomous SCR could complete them a few years after raising loans to match its Rs.2,000-crore annual profit, he said.

Praja Rajyam president K. Chiranjeevi said the Railway Budget was ‘disappointing’ for the State, as the allocations were not in proportion to SCR’s earnings. M. Vijaya Shanthi, TRS MP, thanked the Minister for responding favourably to her proposals. The FAPCCI and the CII hailed the budget.

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