Socialist Party opposes the anti-poor and pro-corporate Rail Budget
The Rail Budget (2014-2015) presented today by the Railway Minister Shri Shadanand Gowda can be described in brief as essentially anti-poor. The unprecedented hike - 14% - in the fares will burden basically the large segment of the poor of the country. There are no concessional provisions for students and unemployed in the budget who are victims of a wrongly planned education and economic system. Secondly, by allowing FDI to facilitate ‘high speed network’ primarily meant for the rich, the budget is an undisguised leap in the direction of the corporatisation of the railways. After Defence the government has opened the Railways to be looted by the profit hungry corporate houses. It is, in fact, a neo-liberal rail budget prepared to fulfil the dreams of corporate houses and the beneficiaries of neo-liberalism.
The Socialist Party strongly opposes this rail budget for its anti-poor ‘vision’. In the considered view of the Socialist Party the rail budget should be prepared in a manner that first and foremost concern is the poor who do not have alternative choices, except sleeper or general class, in travel mode. The railways should ensure that this large but unprivileged segment can travel within their own country with comfort, dignity and security.
The Socialist Party condemns the practice of dragging the names of our great thinkers and freedom fighters who firmly stood for the betterment of the deprived hard working masses through a self-reliant system. Invoking names of Gandhi and Vivekananda by the minister in his budgetary speech once again exposes the habitual hypocrisy of the ruling class that caters to the privileged and the powerful while invoking the needs of the ignored and the struggling majority.
Dr. Prem Singh