Railway funds for CWG after ascertaining credentials: Mamata

Railway funds for CWG after ascertaining credentials: Mamata

"This is an important issue. Rs 100 crore was promised in the Railway Budget. But we have not yet worked out the modalities of how the funds should be given for CWG. We will give it only after verifying the credentials of the games' expenditure," Banerjee told the Lok Sabha.

Intervening during a debate on the Supplementary Demands for Grants for her ministry, she said the commitment of Rs 100 crore had been made by her in the Railway Budget presented in February.

She was responding to questions raised by Harin Pathak (BJP) on the prudence of apportioning railway funds for the CWG in the wake of allegations of corruption in the CWG preparations coming to the fore in the recent days.

Pathak, who initiated the debate, said though the CWG was a matter of pride for the country and its dignity was at stake to hold the event successfully, complaints of misuse of funds had raised questions over why Railway money should go to the games.

Noting that some PSUs were withdrawing their sponsorship for the CWG and lakhs of crores were to be spent for the games, he said the allegations had raised suspicions that funds were being diverted to the coffers of some individuals.

"Since the PSUs are withdrawing sponsorships, the CWG organising committee has identified Railways, State Bank of India and Air India to get the funds for the games. The allegations of corruption has raised suspicion that the funds meant for the games are diverted for personal gain," he said.

Pathak said though Banerjee was "most-wanted" in West Bengal and the state was "waiting" for her, but as Railway Minister she should focus on the work in Delhi too.
Pointing out that Banerjee had promised a white paper on the financial state of the Railways after her predecessor Lalu Prasad had declared it had Rs 90,000 crore surplus, Pathak said the Minister had now informed that the surplus funds was only Rs 39,500 crore.

"I now want to know where did the balance Rs 50,000 crore go? This is not a small amount. Prasad went about delivering lectures to IIT students and toured the world to give lessons in management. Two different ministers of the same government are contradicting each other. What is the truth, we want to know," he said.

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