New Delhi: Left parties in Wednesday slammed the
rail fare hike and said Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi`s
announcements of completing the pending projects showed
promises made by his predecessor Mamata Banerjee were
"gimmicks and a fraud" on the people.
The hikes in fares and freight charges for most
commodities like coal, fertilisers, foodgrains, steel and
cement, notified earlier this month, would raise prices of
essential items and "adversely impact millions of rural
migrant workers, employees and small entrepreneurs who have to
frequently travel" thousands of kilometers from their
hometowns, CPI(M) said.
The "anti-people nature" of the rail budget is "further
exposed" by the announcement of adding a `fuel adjustment
component` to passenger fares, which implies periodic increase
in rail fares in tandem with hike in fuel prices, it said.
CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said "a plethora of
promises made in one year is forgotten the next year" and said
"the silence or obfuscation of Trivedi on these promises
confirms that announcements made by Mamata Banerjee as Railway
Minister in 2010 and 2011 were all gimmicks and fraud on
Maintaining that the recommendations by the Sam Pitroda
committee favoured privatisation of the railways, Yechury said
the British railways were privatised and re-nationalised
within a few years as privatisation did not work.
"The path being undertaken by the railways is a recipe
for disaster," he said, adding it was "ridiculous" that global
tenders would be floated for catering services which would
attract MNCs like McDonalds at the cost of Indian caterers.
Terming the budget as "anti-people", CPI leader Gurudas
Dasgupta said it "hid more than it revealed" as the Railway
Minister has not given actual figures or percentage the hike.