New Delhi: AAP today said that the NDA government's Railway Budget “lacks vision” and has nothing in it for the “aam aadmi” even as it claimed that the key problems affecting the public transporter had not been dealt with in it.
The rail budget presented by Suresh Prabhu is neither “reformist” nor “populist” and is an empty bag for the “aam aadmi”, the party said.
“A closer look at the rail budget shows it has nothing for the aam aadmi. It lacks vision and reads like a bland statement of accounts and jargon.
“Railways is the biggest employer in the country and Mr Prabhu's budget even disappoints the employees of his own organisation,” the party said in a statement here. It charged that key problems such as revenue leakages, administrative delays, payment non-recoveries and irregular application of railway freight rules and irregular grants of trainload rates did not find any strong corrective measures. Further, there was little emphasis on mitigating defective planning, engineering faux pas and poor enforcement of contracts.
“Thousands of crores are lost every year by the railways due to administrative delays, payment non-recoveries and irregular application of railway freight rules and irregular grants of trainload rates.
“There were no concrete measures to show the government's commitment to fixing these large-scale problems faced by the railways,” AAP said.
It also averred that the increase in freight charges would throw railways out of competition and lead to flight of freight traffic towards other forms of surface transportation.
“Despite having a clear single-party majority in Lok Sabha, the railway minister has disappointed the country with his status-quoist budget speech, which lacks any direction. “This budget did not address several institutional defects nor did it put forward any long-term solutions for them,” it said.
AAP, however, stated that it agrees with Prabhu's decision to not announce any new trains in haste although his roadmap for the safety and modernisation of railways was unclear.