Mamata''s Rail Budget ''jugglery'' of accounts: Oppn

New Delhi, Feb 25 (PTI) The Opposition today describedMamata Banerjee''s Rail Budget as "jugglery" of accounts,saying the finances and performance of the department were ina "mess" and the exercise would push the Railways intobankruptcy.

The two major opposition parties - BJP and CPI(M) -used similar adjectives to take the Railway Minister to taskfor presenting a budget which was a "fraudulent exercise" thatwas "symptomatic of the dismal state of this government".

The BJP said the Rail Budget''s "larger approach is todo nothing. It has run out of ideas. The Railways'' financesand performance are in a mess ... There appears to be ajugglery of accounts in order to ensure that a profit isprojected".

The CPI(M) Politburo said it was "a fraudulentexercise aimed at window dressing the pathetic state ofrailway finances and announcing sundry projects, which willnever take off the ground. The Railways are actually facing afinancial crisis".

The figures clearly showed that Railways'' "ownresources are going to deteriorate further even as it drawsmore resources from the general budget and increase itsindebtedness, ruining its financial health further in thelong-term", the Left party said.

"Announcements of projects without any specific planoutlay or time schedule amounts to a farce. The Budget isreplete with such farcical announcements at the cost of thecredibility of an institution like the Indian Railways".

The Congress, however, hailed the Budget saying itshows "concern and sensitivity" towards the common man andexpressed happiness over no hike in fares.

Congress spokesman Manish Tiwari said, "The mostsignificant aspect of the budget is that she (Mamata Banerjee)has not increased any fare. She has shown her great concernand sensitivity towards the needs of the common man to whichthe UPA government is totally committed."He also congratulated the Railway Minister for her"frank" admission of the challenges before the Ministry due toimplementation of Pay Commission recommendations and theassertion that the Railways have come out of its difficultiesand is on development path.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury termed the Budget as an"exercise in deceit" and accused Banerjee of playing trickswith figures and "cunningly juggling statistics" figures toshow improved financial position of the PSU behemoth.

"Railways have paid Rs 1,700 crore less as dividend"and has, therefore, been able to show an improved operatingratio, he said. (MOre) PTI Team ARC

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