A budget that encourages privatisation in Railways

The Railway budget presented by the Railway Minister Sadanada Gowda has clearly stated that the Indian railways will move in the path of privatisation. The Modi Government that increased the passenger fares by 14.2 percent and freight charges by 6.5 percent before the budget has given importance to foreign and private investments for infrastructure development. The budget is full of rhetoric and there are no concrete steps for the development of railways. No steps were provided to create employment opportunities. While steps are taken for the development of major cities, the small cities are neglected. The budget has just concentrated on the Prime Minister’s Ahmedabad, the Railway Minister’s Bangalore and Maharashtra where elections are due shortly.

The railways has not reached many nooks and corners of the nation and the question arises if there is a need for bullet train project at sixty thousand crore rupees. Five lakh crores is required to complete the existing projects in ten years and in such state the new projects will remain just announcements. The minister has also extensively quoted the public private partnership. Such partnerships will be taken over by the private companies as in the case of Delhi Indira Gandhi airport.

The request by the Minister for foreign direct investment is the very dangerous part of the budget. What will be the condition if the public department that is used by 2.3 crore people every day is given to the private whose sole aim is to increase their profit? The railway budget clearly shows that Narendra Modi Government is just interested in implementing their corporate goals.

S. Shafiullah

PRO

Popular Front of India

Tamil Nadu

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