Opposition on Thursday attacked the first full-fledged Railway Budget of the BJP-led NDA government saying it lacked vision and road map to execute the “nice ideas it is full of”. Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Mallikarjun Kharge and TMC’s Dinesh Trivedi, both of whom are also former Railway Ministers, slammed the Budget for lacking in substance and merely “weaving dreams”.
“It’s a nicely-worded Budget speech. But there is no vision as to how he is going to achieve goals. The minister says he will get into PPP model, BoT agreements, etc. If you depend on others, you are unlikely to meet your targets,” Kharge told reporters outside Parliament. Trivedi, who has at times gone against his party’s line in praising the government, was also disdainful for the Budget, saying it has woven a dream for people but lacks plan to fulfil it.
“It’s like saying I will go to moon. It’s an idea, a dream but what is important is how are you going to reach there. It’s all about future but your finances presently suffer from almost 50 per cent shortfall. How are you going to meet the gap,” he told reporters. Trivedi, who was Railway Minister in UPA government and had to quit due to his party’s opposition to his reform measures, went on to say that it was not a Budget but just an idea.
“I see Railways going the Air India way. Its coffers are empty,” he said. Senior BJD leader Tathagata Satpathy also attacked the Railway Budget, calling it hollow and disappointing. He said he would give only 2 out 10 points to it. “It’s completely hollow. He (Prabhu) spoke of an idea but that idea has not been enunciated, meaning not much thought has gone behind it,” he told PTI. Kharge also criticised Prabhu’s decision to not announce new trains, saying development is not static like stagnant water.