Mamata has played tricks with figures: CPI M

New Delhi: Terming the Rail Budget as an "exercise in deceit", the CPI(M) on Friday alleged that Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee had "cunningly juggled" figures to show improved financial position of the PSU behemoth which it claimed had been turned bankrupt.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said the Railway Minister has played with figures to project an operating ratio of 91.1 per cent for 2011-12 which he claimed has touched 115 per cent at present.

"Railways have paid Rs 1700 crore less as dividend," and has therefore been able to show an improved operating ratio, he said.

"She has played tricks with figures and has cunningly juggled with statistics," he said.

Criticising the Minister`s move of clubbing all announced and pending projects under the Pradhan Mantri Rail Vikas Yojana, he demanded to know from the Planning Commission about the status of the announced projects.

He said Railway should have grown at around 12 per cent to maintain the country`s growth rate of 8 to 9 per cent, "but sadly the growth rate of the PSU was a mere three per cent at present".

He also pointed to the large number of vacant posts in the organisation and accused the Minister of taking an "anti-labour" position by blaming the implementation of the pay commission recommendations for the Railways` financial mess.

"Despite Railways` strength and sound economic fundamentals, they (the Government) have done the unthinkable of turning Railways bankrupt," Yechury said.

Stating that Railways` share of goods traffic has come down to 35 per cent, Yechury said the Minister could have laid focus on the Dedicated Freight Corridor Project, "but not a single kilometre of track has been laid so far".