New Delhi, Feb 26 (IANS) The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) Tuesday said the railway budget "reflects gross inconsistencies and contradictions camouflaged in deceptive postures".
Although rail fares were hiked only a month ago, "still (Railway Minister P.K. Bansal) did not spare wholly the passenger fare, putting indirect burden on the people", it said in a statement.
"The increase in reservation charges and fuel surcharges will have an impact of hike in passenger fare," said the statement issued by CITU general secretary Tapan Sen.
CITU added that the fuel charge adjustment policy indicated by the railway minister "has kept the door open for interim fare hike through executive order.
"Further the programme for putting in place a so-called independent regulatory authority reiterated in the budget speech makes clear the evil design to completely deregulate railway fares in the days to come."
It said the fuel surcharge hike and the five percent hike in freight rate would fuel the already high inflationary pressure.
"The budget stressed for promoting PPP in many areas of maintenance and development work, provoking backdoor privatization of various services."