Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel has raised questions over the allocation of funds for the Indian Railways in the 2023 Union budget, calling for the money to be used for modernisation before it is sold to private companies. Speaking to news agency ANI, Baghel expressed concerns over the allocation of ₹2,35,000 crore to the Railways, questioning whether the funds would be used for the benefit of employees, new recruitments, or modernisation.
Baghel also criticised the 2023 budget as a “nirmam” budget, lacking benefits for youth, farmers, women, tribals, and scheduled castes, and claimed that it was solely focused on the upcoming elections. He called for new trains in the Jagdalpur and Surguja areas and the release of GST and central excise dues for Chhattisgarh.
The finance minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, announced a record outlay of ₹2.4 lakh crore for the Indian Railways, to be used for electrification, station facilities, and railway tracks among others. Despite this, Baghel’s concerns reflect the demands of the people of Chhattisgarh, who are looking for more direct benefits from the budget.
In her speech, Sitharaman highlighted the highest ever capital outlay for the Indian Railways, 9 times greater than that of 2013. However, Baghel’s comments indicate that the allocation of funds may not be enough to address the concerns of the people of Chhattisgarh, who are looking for better railway infrastructure in their