New Delhi: BJP today defended the steep hike in rail fare and freight charges saying it was a “difficult but correct decision”, but opposition parties including the JD(U) and Trinamool Congress slammed the NDA government for the move terming it as a big burden on the common man. Senior BJP leader and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the railways can survive only if users pay for availing facilities.
“The passenger services have been subsidised by the freight traffic. In recent years, even freight fares have come under pressure,” he said. He said it was “difficult but correct decision”.
BJP president and Home Minister Rajnath Singh said rising inflation was a fallout of the policy paralysis that prevailed during the Congress-led UPA regime, and added that the nascent Narendra Modi government will need time to rein in the price rise.
“The failures of Congress-led UPA government, and the kind of policy paralysis prevailing at that time, will have its impact in the country. We are trying to neutralise it and also making efforts to check inflation,” Singh said.
But opposition parties including the JD(U) and Trinamool Congress refused to buy the BJP's theory.
“It is easy to give speeches, but difficult to run this country. They (BJP) do not have any policy to tackle price rise,” JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav said, adding that BJP wants to run the country in the way the Congress did.
Trinamool's Derek O' Brien said the hike is going to be a “big burden” on the common man. “Before the Rail Budget, they have come up with a super rail budget and announced this huge hike. Terrible news,” he said.