New Railway minister rolls back fare hikes
Roy has kept untouched the increase in fares of AC 2-tier and AC-I announced by his predecessor.
New Delhi:The hike in rail passenger faresfor second class suburban and non-suburban, sleeper, AC chair car and AC 3-tier was today rolled back with the new RailwayMinister Mukul Roy dubbing it as a "huge drain" on the masses.
He, however, kept untouched the increase of 15 paise perkm and 30 paise per km respectively in passenger fares inAC 2-tier and AC-I announced by his predecessor DineshTrivedi in the Railway Budget last week.
Replying to the debate on the Railway Budget in the LokSabha, Roy also put on hold Trivedi's proposal of setting up acommittee to examine whether there should be an independenttariff regulatory authority.
He scrapped Trivedi's proposal to expand the RailwayBoard.Roy, who was replying to the debate just a day aftertaking over as Railway minister, said, "The proposal toincrease fare by 2 paise per km, 3 paise per km and 5 paise
per km in second class suburban and non-suburban and Sleeperclass is a huge drain on the pocket of the masses."
"Similarly, increase in the fare of AC Chair Car and AC3-tier, which is now patronised by the middle class, is alsoquite severe...I intend to give relief to the already over-burdenedcommon man by not effecting any increase in these classes," he said.
Trivedi had proposed an increase of 10 paise per km each for AC ChairCar and AC 3-tier.Roy, however, did not refer to AC 2-tier and AC-I Class,for which his predecessor had proposed hike of 15 paise per kmand 30 paise per km.
"The hike in fares is thrust upon us by UPA government. It is the result of the misplaced populism of the UPA's 10-year misrule. The railways are bleeding. Former Railway Minister (Mallikarjuna) Kharge had sought and received approval of the PM (for hike) ahead of interim budget," Naidu said.
The BJP did not cover itself in glory by first taking the bold decision to raise railway fares and freight and then slinking away, blaming the UPA for it. The party must take political ownership of this move, and Modi must lead the reform agenda