CPI-M attacks Mamata on Rail Budget
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 19:27
New Delhi: The CPI(M) on Wednesday launched a sharp attack on its prime political opponent in West Bengal, alleging Railways Minister Mamata Banerjee was going ahead with "wholesale privatisation" of the railways and privatising "cream" projects which would substantially reduce earnings and "halt" their progress.

Most projects announced for West Bengal would not see the light of the day as had happened with several projects announced last year, CPI(M) leader Basudeb Acharia alleged.

Observing that Banerjee had twice in her budget speech said that the PSU would not be privatised, he, however, told reporters here, "there is enough indication in the budget that she is going ahead with wholesale privatisation."

Commenting on proposals related to the dedicated freight corridors, he alleged the western corridor, which was "the cream" in terms of earnings, would be given to private hands and developed through private-public partnership (PPP).

"By dishing out major share of profitable routes to private parties, Railways will not have enough earnings or funds to invest for its expansion and bring its future growth to a halt," he said.

Acharia, a long-time Chairman of the Standing Committee on Railways who left the post after Banerjee took over as the minister, said "if construction of rail lines is given to private hands, only those projects having positive rate of return will be taken up."


First Published: Wednesday, February 24, 2010, 19:27

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