Rail Budget 2016: Rail budget ‘document of illusion’, says AAP

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New Delhi | Published: February 26, 2016 3:30:56 AM

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today termed the Railway Budget as a "document of illusion" targeted at painting a rosy picture where none actually exists...

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) today termed the Railway Budget as a “document of illusion” targeted at painting a rosy picture where none actually exists and said it is “oblivious” to the common man’s needs but tries to “create space” for corporate interests.

The party said the outcome of the budget proposals will only be seen in 2020, while the government’s term ends in 2019. This raises the question of “accountability” of the promises made, it said.

It added that the rail budget only “tom-toms” announcements for the wealthy and the middle classes, like apps, wi-fi, FM connectivity, among other amenities.

“It has been the modus operandi of the Narendra Modi government to keep the budget speech limited to popular announcements and then use the back-door official orders to bring in anti-people moves,” the AAP alleged.

“Around 23 per cent unannounced hike in rail fares happened during the last year. Passenger has been tricked by adding the insurance component which he will have to pay from his pocket,” the party said.

“Apart from the token announcements of Antyodaya coaches for unreserved category, no step has been taken for making the Indian trains truly accommodative of the poor and the needy. The government seems least bothered about the safety and amenities for poor travellers who cannot afford reserved category.

“The trick in the Railway Budget as announced by Suresh Prabhu is interesting. They tend to set all the deadlines to 2020 which is beyond the life of the government itself. The net result is unaccountability,” the party said.

It also claimed the US has been “awarded a multi billion contract” for supplying 900 diesel engines to celebrate ‘Make In India’.

“While hiding this fact, Suresh Prabhu went on to boast that the focus will be on electrification of tracks. Will the Railway Minister please tell us why these obsolete, polluting diesel engines are being imported from the US to sustain their failing industry when Indian Railway is committed to phasing out diesel engines and replacing them with electric engines,” it said.

The party also said the benefits of falling crude prices have not been passed on to the consumers.

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