The rival political parties seem to be unimpressed with the new budget of the BJP-led NDA government and termed it as a vision less and road map to execute the “nice ideas it is full of”. Former railway ministers from Congress, Mallikarjun Kharge and TMC Dinesh Trivedi, slammed the budget for lacking in substance and merely “weaving dreams”.
“It’s a nicely-worded budget speech. But there is no vision as to how he is going to achieve goals. The minister says he will get into PPP model, BoT agreements, etc. If you depend on others, you are unlikely to meet your targets,” Kharge told reporters outside Parliament.
Another former Railway Minister Trivedi commented in a lighter vein that it was not a budget but just an idea. “It’s like saying I will go to moon. It’s an idea, a dream but what is important is how you are going to reach there. It’s all about future but your finances presently suffer from almost 50 per cent shortfall. How are you going to meet the gap,” adding “I see Railways going the Air India way. Its coffers are empty,”.
Announced a record investment plan of over Rs 1 lakh crore in 2015-16 while sparing the passengers of a fare hike, Rail Minister, Suresh Prabhu in his maiden budget presented four main goals that PM Narendra Modi lead government will work on to overcome it’s present condition all across the country.
While presenting the Rail Budget 2015 in the Lok Sabha , Railways minister Suresh Prabhu said : “We want to work on these four goals; deliver a sustained improvement in customer experience; make railways a safer means of travel; modernize infrastructure of railways and expand capacity and finally make railways financially self-sustainable. I am convinced we can deliver. I believe we can ensure the rebirth of Indian Railways”.
While thanking people for providing him this opportunity he said this cannot happen overnight. “Chronic underinvestment has led to poor development of Indian Railways. Railways can play a very important role in PM Narendra Modi’s ambition of eliminating poverty from the country”.
Meanwhile senior BJD leader Tathagata Satpathy also had a different take on the Railway budget, calling it hollow and disappointing. He said he would give only 2 out 10 points to it. “It’s completely hollow. He spoke of an idea but that idea has not been enunciated, meaning not much thought has gone behind it,”. Railway Ministers decision of announcing no new trains was also criticized saying development is not static like stagnant water.
“I could not understand anything about the rail budget. I will have to meet Prabhuji to understand it now” said Supriya Sule, NCP leader. Thus indicating that the opposition is not all gung-ho about Suresh Prabhu’s first Rail Budget .