Former Railways Minister Pawan Bansal on Thursday termed the Railway Budget for fiscal 2015-16 as disappointing, and accused the NDA Government of wrongly taking credit for not increasing passenger fares.
He felt that the fare should have been actually lowered in the wake of a lowering of diesel prices.
"According to me, it is disappointing. During my time as minister, we had introduced a fuel adjustment component, which means that if the cost of fuel like diesel and electricity rises, then there would be a proportionate increase in the ticket fare. In the same way, if the fuel cost lowers, then the fare would also be correspondingly reduced," said Bansal when asked about the Railway Budget.
"Nine months back they increased the fare by 14 percent because the diesel cost was going up. Since then, the diesel price has almost halved, but there is no lowering of fares. So, when they said that we will not raise the fare, they were misleading people, the fare should have been lowered instead. Accordingly the fuel adjustment component of the fare should have been lowered, but they are taking credit for not raising it," he added.
Union Railways Minister Suresh Prabhu earlier in the day presented the Railway Budget for fiscal 2015-16 in Parliament.
This is the NDA Government's first full-fledged railway budget since assuming power last year.