Rly budget lacks vision, road map to execute ideas: Oppn

Rly budget lacks vision, road map to execute ideas: Oppn

Rly budget lacks vision, road map to execute ideas: Oppn

Opposition today attacked the first full-fledged Railway budget of the BJP-led NDA government saying it lacked vision and road map to execute the "nice ideas it is full of".

Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and TMC's Dinesh Trivedi, both of whom are also former Railway Ministers, 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.

Trivedi, who has at times gone against his party's line in praising the government, was also disdainful for the budget, saying it has woven a dream for people but lacks plan to fulfil it.

"It's like saying I will go to moon. It's an idea, a dream but what is important is how are you 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," he told reporters.

Trivedi, who was Railway Minister in UPA government and had to quit due to his party's opposition to his reform measures, went on to say that it was not a budget but just an idea. "I see Railways going the Air India way. Its coffers are empty," he said.

Senior BJD leader Tathagata Satpathy also attacked 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 (Prabhu) spoke of an idea but that idea has not been enunciated, meaning not much thought has gone behind it," he told PTI.

Kharge also criticised Prabhu's decision to not announce new trains, saying development is not static like stagnant water.

Senior Congress leader M Veerappa Moily was critical of the rail budget saying it was just a vision document.

"There is no budget, it is only a vision document of 2013. Even the statement of accounts he said it is in the annexure. That should be the core theme of the budget. Then where is the budget. I think the budget has melted away in the aspiration of the minister," Moily said adding that according to him the budget scores zero marks out of ten.

However, Environment and Forests Minister Prakash Javadekar called it a "historic and innovative" budget which addresses environmental concerns in a much "focused" manner.

"This is absolutely a revolutionary budget. It reflects the vision of the Prime Minister for making railways a people oriented enterprise. It will ensure more safety, more facilities and it addresses the issue of resource crunch through innovative mechanism," Javadekar said. He said that the budget also ensures transparency in process.

"It is for the first time that greater emphasis has been laid on environmental protection by the Railways. Creation of an Environment Directorate and initiatives like Bio-toilets, energy audit, water and energy recycling and sensitivity towards wildlife are highly praiseworthy," he said.

Javadekar said steps initiated in the budget would not only improve safety, security and amenities of passengers but also enhance speed of travel on Indian railways.

Noting that the steps would also address resource crunch, he said the Railway Minister has come up with some technology-oriented services that would not only ensure transparency but is also user-friendly.

Akali Dal MP Prem Singh Chandumajra said that philosophy of the budget reflects the Prime Minister's vision and fulfill the needs of the present including safety budget.

He said it is good budget but added that till now there has not been an announcement on regarding what would be the facilities for different states. He however was optimistic that the demands of Punjab would be met soon.
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