New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS) Former Union Railway Minister Dinesh Trivedi on Wednesday criticised the Narendra Modi government’s move to merge the railway budget with the general budget, saying it will erode the Railways’ importance.
“The importance of the Railways goes away when you don’t have a separate budget. If you are not going to have a Railway budget, then why do you have a Railway Ministry,” asked Trivedi, who was the Railway Minister during the UPA government.
“The Railways can make indirect contribution to the GDP but per se, all railways in the world run in losses even the Swiss Railways. This simple thing governments, including this (Modi) government has not understood,” Trivedi from the Trinamool Congress, told CNBC-TV18.
Observing that the successive governments have failed to understand the strength of the Railways, Trivedi questioned why the carrier has to pay yearly dividend to the general exchequer for the budgetary support.
“The Railways require investment, it’s a stupid thing to pay dividend when Finance Ministry is giving money to the Railways, why should the Railways pay dividend?”
“It is one of the best organisations. It is very easy to dismantle something but very difficult to create something,” added Trivedi.