Replying to a discussion on the Supplementary Demands for Grants for Railways for 2007-08, Railway Minister Lalu Prasad announced some new trains and minor schemes for various states on the demand of members in the House. The House later passed the demand for grants by a voice vote.
Continuing the financial turnaround, the Railways had achieved a cash surplus of Rs 20,153 crore during 2006-07 and its fund balance figure had increased to Rs 16,529 crore, Lalu informed the members.
Oil scam at KG basin
Alleging a scam in the commercialisation of natural gas at the Krishna-Godavari basin in Andhra Pradesh by the Reliance Industries, the Samajwadi Party (SP) on Thursday demanded a CBI inquiry to examine the reasons for revising the capital expenditure from Rs. 10,000 crore to Rs. 36,000 crore.
Raising the matter during Zero Hour, SP leader Amar Singh said the capital expenditure of the KG basin was revised three times and that the government had been “duped” to the tune of Rs. 36,000 crore. He added that the office of the Comptroller and Accountant General (CAG) should also examine the issue.
Ram Sethu project
The UPA and the NDA members exchanged verbal barbs after the BJP’s deputy leader of the House V.K. Malhotra threatened of dire consequences if Ram Sethu was blasted. He said the government wants to blast the historical bridge joining India with Sri Lanka.
Quota in private sector
The UPA and the NDA blamed each other for not reserving seats for the scheduled castes in private sector jobs. Shahnawaz Hussain of BJP wanted to know in how much time the government would ensure reservation for backwards classes in the private sector.
Pak Gurudwara row
External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee assured Lok Sabha that the government will raise the issue of a 60 year-old Gurudwara dedicated to Bhai Charu Singh being taken over by miscreants in Lahore with the Pakistani authorities.
Members raised hackles over the failure of the Maharashtra government to check farmer suicides, rape of tribal women in Andhra Pradesh and destruction of forests in Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and AP.
With inputs from Chetan Chauhan