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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Potential of bullet trains can’t be imagined till seen on ground, says Jaitley

The Union finance minister took a jab at the Opposition after the NDA government was criticised by them for focusing on big-ticket programmes instead of the existing lacunae in rail safety.

india Updated: Sep 24, 2017 23:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley.(PTI file)

Benefits to the last man standing, as propagated by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) ideologue Deen Dayal Upadhayay are at the core of government policies, even those that are perceived to benefit the rich, Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said on Sunday.

He made a pointed reference to the recent announcement about bullet trains that are expected to run between Mumbai and Ahmedabad, as an example of a policy whose benefits to the poor can only be seen once implemented.

He took a jab at the Left by pointing out that economic models based on their ideology are evaporating. “In the last few weeks there has been ill informed debate about the bullet trains…their potential cannot be imagined till it is seen on the ground,” he said.

After the foundation project was laid, the NDA government was criticised by the Opposition for focusing on big-ticket programmes instead of the existing lacunae in rail safety. The bullet train system was also underlined as a pro-rich step.

Addressing a national seminar organised by a Sangh think tank Jaitley asserted that programmes such as providing power to all villages, road connectivity, and sanitation are all designed to benefit the poor.

 “Bullet trains can help in regenerating the economy and building new townships and smart cities… An individual travelling from Mumbai to Ahmedabad or vice-versa on work can commute in just about 30 minutes...” he said.

Drawing a link between the ideology of integrated humanism of Deen Dayal Upadhayaya and the sustainable development goals recognised by the UN, he said there is an ideological churning occurring and there is an opportunity for the government to pick an economic model which empowers the poor.

First Published: Sep 24, 2017 23:22 IST