New Delhi, July 8:
The CPI-M denounced the railway budget unveiled Tuesday, calling it “a cosmetic exercise, high on rhetoric and low in substance”.
“The emphasis had been in high-sounding bullet trains and commercial freight corridors with no budgetary calculations to back up,” it said in a statement.
“The entire emphasis is to attract FDI and to undertake all further expansion and modernization through the ignominious PPP route.”
The Communist Party of India-Marxist said the sub-text of the budget “is designed to impose greater burdens on the common people who need the railways the most and who use it the most.
“Apart from the pre-budget hikes, which bring in a revenue of Rs.8,000 crore, this budget has linked the future prices for travel with the fuel adjustment factor.
“This means that with every increase in the price of fuel, the cost of travel will automatically go up. Therefore, there will be a continuous increasing burden on the people.”
The CPI-M said that experience of FDI and PPP in other infrastructure sectors like airports and seaports had shown how the costs to the consumer have grown exponentially.
“This is now bound to happen with the railways imposing further burdens on the people.
“Even these calculations of PPP are completely unrealistic as the budget itself informs that the last year’s target of Rs.6,000 crore through the PPP route has not been realised.
“The budget, therefore, is a blueprint for the privatization of Indian railways at the cost of the Indian people who will bear the brunt of the profit maximization by the private sector and FDI.”