Budget merger aimed at privatizing railways: CPI-M

New Delhi, Sep 22 (IANS) The decision to merge the railway and general budgets was a step towards “commercialization and privatization of the Indian Railways”, the CPI-M said on Thursday.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist said in a statement that the unilateral step was taken without discussion in Parliament.

“The abolition of a separate railway budget is not what it is purported to

be. It is a measure towards commercialization and privatization of the

Indian Railways.

“The Indian Railways is the largest public transportation system in the

country which caters to millions of ordinary people. This public service carrier cannot be seen purely on commercial lines.

“The railway budget being presented in Parliament provided the opportunity

for parliamentary scrutiny and approval of its finances, expenditure and a

debate on its plans for expansion.

“This will now be curtailed with its abolition,” the CPI-M said.

It said the move was in tune with the recommendations of the Bibek Debroye Committee which has set out a blueprint for the commercialization and privatization of the Indian Railways.

“For the people what this portends is a steep rise in railway fares and a

growing divide towards elite services and poor facilities for the ordinary

passengers,” it said.

–IANS

mr/

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