Rail Budget is pro-people, says Mamata

Friday, February 25, 2011

NEW DELHI - Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee refuting allegations that her budget was populist or West Bengal-oriented, on Friday said she had kept the interest of the country in mind and given projects to every region.

“Their government (in West Bengal) is bankrupt. It has Rs. two-lakh crore debt. Charity begins at home,” said Banerjee setting aside the accusations of the CPI (M) that she had made Railways bankrupt.

“They are opportunist people. If this is pro-people let it be populist. When they know they cannot fight they make all such allegations. We have given projects to entire country including Jammu and Kashmir, Manipur and Assam. Bengal is not outside India,” she added.

Expressing disappointment after the presentation of the Railway Budget 2011-12, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier today Banerjee’s budget has been prepared with an eye for upcoming West Bengal assembly polls, while rest of India has been neglected.

Meanwhile, Communist Party of India (CPI) leader D. Raja said the Railway Budget is not realistic, and added that there is nothing spectacular in it.

“It seems to be more ambitious than reality. Nobody is happy with the Budget. She has not announced any provisions for ongoing projects,” he said.

When questioned about how she could manage the finances of the Railways without raising the fares, Banerjee said: “Burdening the passenger is an easy option. But our employees tried hard to raise internal generations and also undertook a series of austerity measures. Our loadings have gone up. Passenger earnings have also increased and next year there will be stronger growth.”

Further putting the blame on ‘rail-roko’ agitations and disruptions caused by Maoists for the loss in revenue, she said: “Law and order is not in our hand. It is with the state government.”

Banerjee earlier today announced that there will be no increase in passenger fairs and that the physically challenged people can enjoy concession in Rajdhani and Shatabdi trains. (ANI)

Filed under: Business

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