BJP lauds ‘innovative’ Railway Budget, downplays oppn criticism

New Delhi : Reiterating Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assertion that the Railway Budget will play an important role in building the nation, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday lauded Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu for his ‘innovative’ budget and said the Opposition criticism is on expected lines.

“The budget, as the Prime Minister says, will play an important role in building India in a new sense by using railways as an engine of growth. Additionally, the focus is on cleanliness, on safety, security and providing better amenities. With regard to the opposition parties, their criticism is on expected lines,” BJP spokesperson Nalin Kohli told ANI.

Kohli also lashed out at former railway minister and RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav for his remark that the BJP-led government had derailed the railways and advised him to focus on Bihar where ‘jungle raaj’ has returned under the rule of Nitish Kumar-led grand alliance.

“Perhaps he should focus on Bihar, as that is where jungle raj has returned,” he said while adding that the nation is in safe hands under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi.

Taking a jibe at the BJP-led NDA Government, the RJD chief earlier accused the ruling dispensation of derailing the railway sector, which acted as a lifeline for all.

“This Railway Budget contains nothing. The Indian Railways, which was made a ‘Jersey cow’, has seen a rise in the expenditure and fall in the income. The railway was only sector, which acted as a lifeline for all and the Modi Government has derailed railway,” Lalu told the media.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has praised the Railway Budget proposals for 2016-17, describing it as an impeccable step to ensure the nation’s growth.

“In last year’s budget, we have seen lot of success, and this budget is an effort to further improve on this, along with IT, investment has been given importance,” Prime Minister Modi said.

“This budget will enhance the ‘Navnirman’ of the nation,” he added.

Prime Minister Modi further said that cleanliness, passenger comfort and technological upgradation have been the core agenda of the last two railway budgets.

“The railway budget of 2016 would have an extraordinary impact on nation’s economy and would go a long way in country’s development,” he added.

Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu, who presented the budget for 2016-17 in the Parliament, said the core objective is to become an engine of employment generation and economic growth at national level.

He proposed no changes in passenger fares and freight rates.

He said Railway will generate nine crore man-days employment by 2017-18 and 14 crore man-days by 2018-19.

He also stated that ‘reorganise, restructure and rejuvenate’ are the three key mantras for his ministry.

Proposing a plan size of one lakh twenty one thousand crore rupees in 2016-17, Prabhu said by 2020, long felt desires of the common man are to be fulfilled. (ANI)