randep singh surjewalaNew Delhi, Feb 25 (IANS) The Congress on Thursday termed the 2016-17 railway budget as “a bundle of long-term promises which may only be fulfilled by 2020”.

It also said that the rail budget had proved to be a mere accounting exercise, bereft of any vision or direction for railway safety, expansion of railways by laying new lines, route electrification, punctuality and providing effective connectivity to the remotest corners of India.

“Besides letting down the ordinary passengers, the entire business community and Sensex have given a thumbs down to Suresh Prabhu’s rail budget. Sensex has fallen below 23,000, that is, a hundred percentage points and most rail stocks derailed by 2 to 5 percent. Even cement companies have seen a decline in value of stocks from 1 to 5 percent,” said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

“Despite such heavy burdening of the ordinary rail user, the railway minister has utterly failed to meet even the target of rail budget 2015-16. Naturally, current rail budget is an exercise in ‘big promises – no delivery’,” added Surjewala.

He said: “The rail minister has raised the plan outlay to Rs.1.21 lakh crore from Rs.1 lakh crore in the previous budget. Yet, he has failed to explain the manner of resource generation to support the plan outlay.”

Congress’ Lok Sabha MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: “The Modi government has already increased the rail fares by 20 percent since it assumed office, and has taken several anti-consumer and anti-people steps when it comes to increasing ticket prices and cancellation costs.”