Pawan Kumar Bansal slams rail budget

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jul 09, 2014 08:17 IST

Former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal on Tuesday slammed the railway budget, saying there was nothing new in what the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government had announced.

“Before the parliamentary elections, they promised the moon to people, but then dashed their hopes by increasing the rail fares a few days back. The rail budget focuses only on minor issues. The government has neglected major issues,” the Congress leader told HT.

Responding to railway minister Sadananda Gowda’s statement that former railway ministers’ approach was not rational and railway revenue was wasted till now, he said the NDA should not forget that nearly 2,800 km of railway lines were laid during the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) regime and most trains announced by the railway minister were already in the pipeline.

On the proposed foreign direct investment (FDI) in railways, Bansal said when the UPA was in power, the BJP had opposed FDI in railways tooth and nail and even staged walkouts in Parliament, but the same BJP now wanted FDI.

Asked to comment on the plan to introduce a Bullet train between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, Bansal said this was not something new. “Former prime minister Manmohan Singh had taken up the issue with Japan and a feasibility study is already on,” he said.

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