NEW DELHI: The NDA Government’s first Railway Budget came under strident criticism from the Opposition members as they expressed apprehensions as to how the plans announced in the Budget would be implemented.
Congress member and former Railway Minister K H Muniyappa termed the PPP proposals in the Railway Budget a means to “sell out” the PSUs to private players.
He even took a jibe asking whether Railway Minister Sadananda Gowda was not merely a minister for Gujarat and Karnataka, as a slew of projects had been announced for these states.
Muniyappa alleged that during the UPA regime, the government had sanctioned a rail factory for Gujarat, but Narendra Modi, who was then the Gujarat Chief Minister, had said that there was no land available. The former minister also wanted to know, why no project was sanctioned for Mahatma Gandhi’s birthplace Porbander.
Former Prime Minister and Janata Dal(S) member Deve Gowda said all the blame should not be put on the previous governments. He, however, welcomed the move to introduce the FDI in Railways.
Former Railway Minister and TMC MP, Dinesh Trivedi, while questioning the government move to create PPP model wanted to know as to why would anyone put money in projects where they would not get any returns.
He also wondered as to why comparison was being made with China. “Government in China allotes $160 billion to develop the Railways but here the government gives only $10-12 billion,” he said.