Having already inflicted on the people of the country the most steep hike in railway fares and freight charges, Railway Budget presented by Union Minister Sadanand Gowda is bereft of any succor to the people. Having heaped such a burden on the people, it is cynical on part of railway minister to claim that he could not burden the passengers.
Outlining the policy direction of Modi Govt. Railway Budget looks to FDI and Private Public Partnership even for providing foot bridges and escalators on railway stations. Foreign and domestic corporate investment in railways would add burden on the people as this investment would come only for extraction of maximum profits whose burden would ultimately be borne by the common people. In fact, Modi Govt. like its predecessor cannot look beyond FDI and doing everything to facilitate high profits for corporate. With operational costs amounting to 94% of total receipts and Govt. unwilling to make investments, the ground is prepared for large scale privatization of Indian railways.
Union Railways Minister has continued with privatization spree and contractualization of workforce. Cleanliness on railway stations is being outsourced. All this is being done in the name of cleanliness while engaging contractors has already played havoc with pantry services with low quality and high cost of food served in trains and also other services. But this Govt. is bent on serving contractors and private profit makers.
Ignoring the shortfall in the strength of railway staff, the Union Minister only proposed to increase RPF strength.
Even the Union Minister admitted the utter bankruptcy of his proposals by admitting that his measures are tough on the people. Modi Govt. has cunningly transformed its election slogan of “Good Days” to post-election prescription of tough days.
Central Committee of CPI(ML)-New Democracy strongly criticizes railway budget proposals and demands that railway fare and freight charges be rolled back, privatization be stopped, attention be paid to running trains on time and care be taken of the common passengers. Modi Govt. has embarked on world class fares with third class services and washing its hands off by trying to privatize every aspect of railway services.
July 08, 2014 CC, CPI(ML)-New Democracy